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Buying This at the Grocery Store Makes You More Attractive To Others, New Study Says

It's what's inside (your shopping cart) that counts.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

If you're looking for love and also trying to get healthier, head to the grocery store. A new study just revealed that the items you buy could potentially increase your allure as a romantic partner—especially if they're eco-friendly.

As Psychology Today reports, a team of psychologists in the Netherlands performed two studies to explore exactly what we communicate with the types of products we buy. More specifically, they wanted to learn whether shoppers who are perceived as eco-friendly also seem more attractive to members of the opposite sex.

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To investigate this, in the first study they asked 483 participants—heterosexual males and females—to rate photographs of individuals of the opposite gender based on what the photos showed the subjects buying. The photos exhibited the subjects purchasing either an eco-friendly brand of batteries, home appliances, and clothing, versus other photos showing shoppers spending on a "conventional" (i.e., non-green) brand. The participants were asked to rate the people in the photos based on four perceived variables: generosity, wealth, desirability, and socialsexual orientation, or their perceived willingness to engage in casual sex.

In the second study, they showed 360 males and 240 females photos of classically attractive people who were also purchasing these same three categories of products. Then the participants wrote an essay about going on a date with the photographed person whom they found the most attractive before finally rating their own likelihood of buying the same types of products shown in the photos.

One major finding from the study was that shoppers shown purchasing eco-friendly products were rated as more desirable partners in both the short- and long-term. Past research has pointed to the similarity-attraction effect, which simply means that we like people who are like us or appear to share our most essential values. (This theory applies in platonic scenarios, too. However, as the researchers stated, female study participants were more inclined than the males to draw an association between product preferences and male subjects' likelihood to be faithful partners.)

At the grocery store, this could mean shopping with your own reusable bags, hanging out in the perimeter of the store and buying produce and fresh foods, and avoiding all those processed foods with their bulky, plastic packaging!

As if you needed one more reason to be a conscious consumer. If you're peeping an excuse to hang out in the produce aisle, we've got what you need: check out the 15 Cleanest Foods on Grocery Store Shelves, According to an Expert, and What Eating Avocado Toast Does to Your Body, According to Science.

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more