Menstrual cycles make women shop more!


Hormones drive women to shop. And to eat. And not eat. A new study investigates what effect the menstrual cycle has on our shopping, beauty and eating habits.

Consumer consumption driven by hormones

Lead author, Gad Saad, professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business and holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption said, “Our goal was to investigate how a woman’s menstrual cycle impacts consumption desires, product usage, and dollars spent within the food and beautification domains.”

Diaries revealed all the secrets

Saad asked 59 women to keep a diary on everything they bought, wore, ate, and used to enhance their appearance. They found several patterns. Women are interested in their appearance more during the fertile phase (days 8-15). They eat less, buy more, and use more beauty products. Women eat more during the nonfertile phase, days 16-28.

“These consumption behaviors take place without women’s conscious awareness of how hormonal fluctuations affect their choices as consumers. Our research helps highlight when women are most vulnerable to succumbing to cyclical temptations for high-calorie foods and appearance-enhancing products,” explained Saad.

There’s an app for that

Well almost. Saad is proposing that a consumption-related app be developed to help women track when they are vulnerable to these impulses. It could be empowering for women to know why they are being driven to buy the dress or new color of lipstick. Of course it could also help us to know when the best time to start a diet is: Day 16.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Journal of Consumer Psychology


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