You feel more impatient
In a series of different experiments, Canadian researchers found that merely thinking about fast food can prime people to feel hurried. In another experiment, people who subconsciously viewed fast food logos and then read certain passages rushed through them more quickly than people who weren’t exposed to the logos. “The way people eat has far-reaching—and often unconscious—influences on behavior and choices unrelated to eating,” the study authors noted. This is what fast food does to your immune system.
You splurge more
Fast food may make us more likely to splurge, even when we’re no longer in the restaurant. “We associate fast food with speed and instant gratification,” says Sanford DeVoe, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, whose research found that households in neighborhoods with more fast food restaurants have lower levels of savings (even after accounting for variables like income, education, or ethnicity) than those with fewer fast food outlets. “When we see fast food logos or recall a recent experience eating at a fast food restaurant, we are put into a mental state of impatience that may make us more likely to spend on an immediate reward than save for something down the road,” says DeVoe.