An Indian-origin researcher led study has urged people to use cash when shopping, after finding that it is easier to make junk food purchases on credit cards.
Consumers who use cash to buy their weekly grocery are more likely to be healthier than those who use credit cards, the study concludes.
The survey also discovered that 'the pain of paying in cash can curb impulsive urges to purchase such unhealthy food products.'
A thousand households in the United States were monitored over six months with the team from Cornell University and the State University of New York checking till receipts for purchases and whether cash or credit cards were used.
They discovered that that impulsive purchases for unhealthy products were made with credit and debit cards rather than cash.
The researchers concluded that the paying for goods, be they healthy or unhealthy with cash or credit cards, was also psychologically a double edged sword.
"It brings out positive feelings from a visceral desire to consume the product and negatives ones from anticipated regret after eating it," the Daily Mail quoted Manoj Thomas, an assistant professor of marketing at Cornell University and the study's lead author as saying.
"Those consumers who find it difficult to control their impulsive consumption might find it helpful to use cash instead of plastic.
"The self-control related advantages of paying in cash might outweigh the disadvantages for some consumers," he added.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research.