According to a study published in the Journal Of Applied Behavior Analysis, Americans spend an average of five hours per day asking for treats.
The five-year study conducted by the Pew Research Center concluded that Americans of all ages often found themselves so hungry for goodies that they begged for them as often as 20 times per day. Researchers noted that the average American sometimes spends up to 18 hours per day thinking about treats, and are usually so fixated on getting them that they are unable to focus on anything else.
“Americans are known for their rumbly stomachs, but we were unaware of the extent to which they thought about treats until now,” said head researcher Leslie Dileen, adding that asking for yummy treats has become an “essential part of most Americans’ days.”
“It’s clear that people feel that they are not getting enough sweets,” said researcher Bryan Ogata. “In fact, Americans often hunger for candy, doughnuts, cookies, cake and other delicious nibbles from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep.”
The study found that 87 percent of Americans ask their close friends and family for treats at least once per day, and 19 percent have asked complete strangers to buy them or give them a little feast. Though Americans are quick to request goodies, 74 percent say they are hesitant to share their own treats, citing the fact that they are their treats and they want them.
“Sometimes I just sit at my desk and think about gooey cookies,” said New Jersey resident Terrance Kommer. “Then I usually ask Alice if she has any chocolate in her drawer.”
“I work really hard, so at the end of the day I want to have a treat,” said Kommer. “I deserve it.”
Adding that he loves “when grocery stores give out free samples,” Kommer noted that he often goes back to ask for seconds and thirds when such a fortuitous event does occur. “I can usually get my mom to give me treats,” Kommer remarked. “I love my mom.”
Dileen noted that, like Kommer, many Americans feel entitled to treats, especially after performing activities which they deem difficult or strenuous, such as going to the gym, going to work or getting up early on a Sunday.
The study concluded that even though 96 percent of Americans know that treats are not healthy, they like them so much that they beg for them anyway. Dileen added that once they have received treats, most Americans will not stop complaining until they get to take a nap.