Problem: When my cousin was little and eating her food way too fast, my aunt and uncle used to instruct her to “savor” it. I often do not follow this very sound advice myself, sometimes eating so fast that I have to stop and take a drink of water just to force the accumulated food lump down my throat, but, different strokes.
The true crossroads of food and impatience, of course, can be found at any local fast food restaurant, where the burger you will soon suffocate yourself with appears in five minutes, yet somehow, still, too slowly. Standing under the fluorescent lights at a McDonald’s counter, while pleasurable in its own way, is pretty much the opposite of long walks where you take stock of your life, savor the outdoors, look at some birds. Researchers at the University of Toronto wanted to know if the presence of fast food “undermines people’s ability to experience happiness from savoring pleasurable experiences,” and answered that question in a recent study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Methodology: First, researchers examined the concentration of fast food restaurants in 280 participants’ neighborhoods (by zip code). The participants had completed an online survey that measured their tendency to savor (or not) their emotional responses to pleasant experiences.