Is Overeating Ever a Bargain?

I was in the grocery store and saw a display of “big name” candy bars with the special: Buy 2, Get 2 Free.

“Wow!” I thought. “Those candy bars are basically half price.” Other variations have included Buy 4, Get 1 Free, but whichever way it’s spelled, you’re getting more bang for your buck.

I’m not going to give you the holier-than-thou attitude that the best bargain is zero calories for zero dollars; because I’ve been known to indulge. What I will tell you is the truth behind specials like this. I don’t blame advertising, because the job of advertising is to always sell MORE product.

The problem is not your wallet, but your waistline. Deals like this ALWAYS get you to eat more as a side effect of buying more. It never fails. Even if I walked into the store with the intention of buying just one candy bar, if I saw this deal, then I’d just need to buy one more to get the candy bars at half price. Who wouldn’t?

Another way of looking at it is you’re paying twice the amount you intended and will end up eating four times the amount you intended. You may decide to share with loved ones, or save for a future date, but they will be eaten. As for saving for a future date, I’ve found that this never happens. It’s there so you might as well eat it, why store it in the office or household when you can store it on your body?

Even if I wanted to buy 2 candy bars, I’m still getting 2 for free, so I still end up with double of what I intended to eat. It’s too easy to justify eating the extra amount. As a human species, we want to get the maximum number of calories for the minimum amount of effort (money). It’s the reason why we eat way more at all-you-can-eat restaurants versus ordering items from a menu. But if our brains can evolve larger than our butts, then buyer beware.


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