New Delhi: Chocolates play an important role in the lives of those who harbour a deep love for the sinful treats.
Unfortunately, their sugar content makes many control their cravings. While some are quite good at playing the will-power game, there are those who give in to temptation and indulge in a bite or two, because let's face it – chocolates are hard to resist.
However, if your sweet tooth is fantasizing about your favourite treat, but somewhere you know you're going to regret the decision, there's nothing to worry about! A study has the way out!
All you have to do is wait for 25 seconds before buying or walking to the refrigerator for that sweet delight. Scientists believe that this will be enough to curb the desire and make you choose a more healthy snack.
For the study, scientists installed countdown timers on vending machines in the US, forcing customers who had ordered chocolate or other unhealthy products to wait 25 seconds before the items became available.
They were able to change their mind and select a healthy snack at any point during the countdown, which would then become instantly available, meanwhile those who selected something healthy in the first instance were not forced to wait at all, researchers said.
"Having to wait for something makes it less desirable, said Brad Appelhans, who led the research at the Rush University Medical Centre in the US.
Over 14 months, researchers found that the delay prompted up to a five percent increase in the purchase of healthy snacks.
Previous interventions to try and reduce the harm caused by the easy availability of sugary snacks have focused on the complete removal of such products, or the machines altogether.
"Research shows that humans strongly prefer immediate gratification, and this preference influences choices and behaviour in daily life," Appelhans was quoted as saying by 'The Telegraph'.
"We wanted to see if we could use this preference for immediate gratification to improve people's vending machine snack choices," he said.
(With PTI inputs)