Fast Food Habit Cues Impatience

Posted 07/23/2014 | By HealthCorps

A recent report out of Toronto suggests that when you live in a neighborhood where your child can buy more fast food, compared to a neighborhood where there are more sit-down restaurants, your kids may become used to super-fast service, and apply that paradigm to all aspects of their lives.

People who live in communities peppered with fast food restaurants were less able to enjoy pleasurable activities that require a person to stop and savor the moment. Buying your meals in a fast food establishment seems to set you up for the need to have instant gratification or immediate responses and payoff. It may even pervade your behavior to the point that just seeing pictures of fast food can raise your impatience level and block your ability to enjoy quiet slow pleasures, like looking at a photo album, walking in a park, or even being able to wait quietly on a longer line in a supermarket.

The head researcher of the study, Professor DeVoe, points out that even though we see fast food as saving us time and allowing us more time to enjoy other things, it can actually cue us to feel more impatience and rob us of certain daily pleasures.

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