Why we always eat the same thing for breakfast, according to a study

“Why do people eat the same breakfast every day? Objectives and circadian rhythms of the search for variety in meals”, is the name of the study recently published on the specialized website SSR. Romain Cadario is its author, but he also works as an assistant professor at the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

Both Cadario and Carey Morewedge, a researcher at Boston University, identified that many people happily eat the same foods for breakfast day after day, but seek more variety in the foods they eat for lunch and dinner. “We identified psychological targets as drivers of this variety-seeking diurnal pattern, complementing other biological and cultural drivers,” they detailed.

In their view, people are more likely to pursue hedonic goals for meals as the day progresses, leading them to seek more variety for dinners and lunches than for breakfasts. In this context, they studied the breakfast habits of Americans and French people.

One of the main reasons for this little variety at breakfast has to do with the time variable. “Hedonic goal activation predicts food variety seeking by controlling for factors including time spent preparing and eating meals, the presence or absence of other people, and whether people ate inside or outside their home,” they specified. the researchers in their study.

Goal “activation” also explained differences in meal time, whereas increasing meal time did not increase variety seeking. The difference between one meal and another is radical. While at breakfast the utilitarian is sought, at lunch or dinner it goes more for the pleasant.

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