STUDY: That Reusable Grocery Bag Is Making You Fat. If you come home with a bounty of Cheetos and chips, this might be why
Helping the environment might come at the price of a bigger belly: Shopping with a reusable grocery bag may make you buy more junk foods, a new study from Harvard suggests.
In the study, people who brought reusable grocery bags with them to the supermarket were 7 percent more likely to snag foods high in fat, sugar, or sodium—like chips or ice cream—than shoppers who just grabbed a plastic bag at the checkout.
On average, the people who used reusable bags bought additional junk food that equated to an extra bag of potato chips or a bakery cookie.
Using reusable grocery bag makes you feel more virtuous, since you know you’re helping the environment by choosing a bag that’s not going to end up in the landfill, says study coauthor Uma R. Karmarkar, Ph.D.
But feeling like you’ve already made one good decision can also make you want to treat yourself later—like caving when you walk by the candy display or spot a new flavor of Oreo’s, she says.
Your move, then, is to find a different way to indulge while you’re strolling through the aisles. Consider shelling out for a better brand of coffee than what you normally buy, for instance.
Planning out your shopping list in advance can also help you avoid impulsively filling your cart with junk. Try incorporating these 20 Best Snacks For Men in your next grocery list.
And don’t ditch your bag: The more you keep using it, the more your need to reward yourself for doing so will fade, says Karmarkar.
That’s because it’ll start to feel more like an everyday activity—and you no longer feel the need to reward yourself for brushing your teeth before bed, right?