Contemplating your own death makes you shop more

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An article on New Scientist today suggests that one of the factors motivating our insatiable lust for material possessions and our thoroughly American compulsion to keep sticking more and more food into our food-holes is, in fact, existential despair.

"The authors believe people with low self-esteem use consuming as a way of subconsciously escaping self-awareness, which is heightened by thoughts of dying. "When you indulge in shopping or eating, it helps you forget yourself," says Smeesters"

See, that's what I love about science; it's all about providing solutions to life's tough problems. So the next time you're sitting around your crappy apartment in your underwear drinking liquor from the bottle and you're suddenly struck by the futility and pointlessness of your life, and a crushing sadness takes hold of you as you realize that all human endeavours are destined to crumble into nothingness eventually, you should reach for the Chips Ahoy!â?¢ brand cookies instead of your gun.

Mmmm, cookies.

"One would hope that companies do not exploit this by putting food ads straight after the news,"

Yeah, right.

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