NCBI ROFL: I just had donuts for dinner and went on a cocaine binge, but it's ok — I took a multivitamin!

By ncbi rofl | August 30, 2011 7:00 pm

Ironic effects of dietary supplementation: illusory invulnerability created by taking dietary supplements licenses health-risk behaviors.

“The use of dietary supplements and the health status of individuals have an asymmetrical relationship: The growing market for dietary supplements appears not to be associated with an improvement in public health. Building on the notion of licensing, or the tendency for positive choices to license subsequent self-indulgent choices, we argue that because dietary supplements are perceived as conferring health advantages, use of such supplements may create an illusory sense of invulnerability that disinhibits unhealthy behaviors. In two experiments, participants who took placebo pills that they believed were dietary supplements exhibited the licensing effect across multiple forms of health-related behavior: They expressed less desire to engage in exercise and more desire to engage in hedonic activities (Experiment 1), expressed greater preference for a buffet over an organic meal (Experiment 1), and walked less to benefit their health (Experiment 2) compared with participants who were told the pills were a placebo. A mediational analysis indicated that perceived invulnerability was an underlying mechanism for these effects. Thus, a license associated with the use of dietary supplements may operate within cycles of behaviors that alternately protect and endanger health.”

Photo: flickr/Lisa Brewster

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Eating behavior and obesity at Chinese buffets.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: “No sh*t, Sherlock”: weight loss edition.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Before you trust the five-second rule, read this.

WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ

CATEGORIZED UNDER: eat me, NCBI ROFL
  • Lxndr

    “A greater preference for a buffet over an organic meal.”

    Doesn’t that mean they’re normal humans?

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.

About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »