People who think about their own deaths tend to eat more and may therefore be more susceptible to weight gain, new research has shown.
A series of studies by scientists at Arizona State University in the US and Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands has looked into the link between morbid thoughts and overeating.
The researchers asked people to write down their feelings about their own death or about a painful medical procedure and then check off items on a grocery list or eat cookies.
They found that people tended to want to buy and eat more food when they were thinking about death.
Publishing their findings in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study authors wrote: "People want to consume more of all kinds of foods, both healthy and unhealthy, when thinking about the idea that they will die some day."
The researchers revealed that thoughts about death place a person in a state of 'heightened self-awareness' and suggested: "One way to deal with such an uncomfortable state is to escape from it, by either overeating or overspending."