A new research discovered how to make people eat healthier. The results showed that waiting for 25 seconds before buying an unhealthy snack from vending machines might make people reconsider and buy something healthier instead.
Researchers put up a trial on several vending machines to see how people would react if they had to wait before getting their treats. Thus, having to wait for 25 seconds before receiving sweets made many people give up on them and choose something else to eat.
Mechanism makes buying sweets more difficult
For the research, they equipped vending machines with timers. Those people who ordered sugary on unhealthy snacks were forced to wait for 25 seconds before they could get the products. During this time, they were allowed to change their mind and choose a different product from the vending machine.
If they opted for something healthy, they could get the product immediately, without having to wait. Also, if they chose a good snack from the beginning, the timer would not be activated and they would not be forced to wait to get their healthy treat.
This trial went on for more than 14 months. The researchers noticed that this period of waiting made around 5 percent of people to give up on sweets and choose something healthy instead. Also, this mechanism did not affect the profit usually obtained by vending machines in any way.
Many embraced the initiative
There were several people who embraced this research as useful. For instance, those who fight against obesity saw the positive results yielded by this trial. They think that every vending machine should be equipped with such a mechanism.
However, this is not the first attempt to reduce the damage done by too much sugar. Health activists wanted to make sweets harder to obtain, so they proposed the removal of these products from vending machines or the complete removal of the machines.
Many organizations did not want to take such drastic measures, as these machines still represent an important source of profit. Thus, this new method suggested that having to wait for a product makes people want it less. Also, imposing discounts on healthy snacks or extra charge for unhealthy snacks was important in determining people to buy or not to buy certain products.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons