Is Ordering Online Making You Overeat?

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SizedPhoto: Courtesy Of Seamless.
If you're anything at all like us, there is one app that you absolutely cannot live without. We'll give you a hint: It's the unscrupulous enabler for your most off-the-wall cravings at any time of the day. That's right — we're talking about Seamless. There is possibly no easier way on the planet to go from hungry to very, very full, and the options are so numerous that sometimes we get more than a little overwhelmed.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the context of this magical, life-changing new app, it turns out that the way we order is shifting in a significant way. A new study by Duke psychologists sought to quantify the differences between ordering online and off. They recorded the orders of customers of a large regional pizza chain as it rolled out an online ordering service, and analyzed how ordering habits changed as people switched to the new system. On average, orders placed online were 15% more complicated than phone orders. The researchers attributed this increase in directives like "double bacon" to the fact that the online system eliminated any potential embarrassment on the part of the customer, whether due to the complexity of the order or its increased calorie factor.

Again, for anyone who gets delivery with any sort of frequency, this is kind of a "duh." But, the study also indicated a few other interesting tidbits about the way we order online. Not only were the online pizza orders more complex, they were also about 6% higher in calories. What's more, the chain indicated that profits from online orders were over 21% higher per customer than they were before the new system was initiated. In other words, the researchers found evidence suggesting that when we order food online, we're not only spending more money — we're making less healthful choices, as well. Just a little food for thought. (Slate)