How Your Appetite Affects Your Decisions

You may think you can function well when you’re hungry, but your appetite can have a remarkable effect on your decision-making process. Here’s why.You can only put so much energy towards making a choice, and when you don’t eat you have a lot less to work with. Ed Yong, writing for the Discover Magazine Blog, examined studies that looked at how taking a food break swayed the decisions of judges. If you ever wanted science to back up regular breaks during your work day, here it is:

All repetitive decision-making tasks drain our mental resources. We start suffering from “choice overload” and we start opting for the easiest choice. For example, shoppers who have already made several decisions are more likely to go for the default offer, whether they’re buying a suit or a car. And when it comes to parole hearings, the default choice is to deny the prisoner’s request. The more decisions a judge has made, the more drained they are, and the more likely they are to make the default choice. Taking a break replenishes them.

That and you need to eat in order to have enough energy to function well. Yong goes into much more specific detail, so the full article is very much worth a read. While you may not be a court judge, you still have daily tasks to perform and suffer from the same problems when you don’t take a break. Personally, I can vouch for the difference between “Regular Me” and “Hungry Me”. If I eat well and on time, I’m generally very happy. If I don’t, I have no patience for anybody or anything and get angry about absolutely nothing. The longer I put off a meal, the worse I get. So take breaks. Eat when you’re hungry, and eat well. Your appetite really does affect the choices you make.

Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges [Discover Magazine]

Image via Wallpaper4Me

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