Paying with cash ‘encourages healthier food shop’

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bank notesWhen it comes to doing your family food shopping, do you normally pay by card or cash?

Illuminating new research from the US reckons that we're likely to buy more junk food when paying for it via credit and debit cards.

The Cornell University study claims that if we made an effort to pay for our food in cash, we'd be more likely to buy healthier grub - which, on top of saving valuable money, could be an unconventional means of boosting our kids' diets.

Study author Professor Manoj Thomas attributed the findings to junk food often being bought 'in the moment.'

Think about when you buy a bar of chocolate from the corner shop, or a takeaway after a long day in the office - often these are unplanned, impulse buys. Because of this we often don't have the cash on us to pay for them.

But the professor also said that when paying by card people are less aware they're spending money than when paying in cold, hard cash.

And he has a point.

He suggested that having to hand over actual, physical money can help us resist our temptations. His claims come in the wake of the study, which shows people paying via plastic bought two-fifths more junk food than those paying in cash.

He said: "The pain of paying in cash can curb impulsive urges to purchase such unhealthy food products. When you pay in cash, there is something that makes you feel bad - to part with money."

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