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Women Shop and Indulge Themselves During Fertility Days

Update Date: Aug 01, 2012 08:25 AM EDT

Mood swings are something that almost all women experience owing to the menstrual cycles. However, apart from the happy and the sad days, there are also shopping, eating days for a woman in a month, says a latest research. 

The study suggests that there are days in a month when a woman is more likely to shop, spend on her appearance or perhaps eat more- all depending on the hormonal fluctuations. 

"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," study first author Gad Saad, a professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business, said in a news release from Concordia University in Montreal, reported Health day. 

For the study, researchers asked 59 women to keep a journal on their beauty routine, clothing choices, calorie consumption and everything they shopped for in a span of 35 days. 

The women were also quizzed on their clothing choices and how much time they spent on grooming themselves along with their sunbathing, and calorie intake etc. The findings revealed that there was a distinct pattern in the women's behavior. 

It was found that women spent the maximum time and money on their appearance, grooming and shopping during their most fertile time (roughly day eight to 15 of a 28-day cycle).

The possible explanation for the phenomenon according to the researchers can be traced back to women's evolutionary roots. 

"In ancestral times, women had to focus more time on mating-related activities during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle, when the likelihood of conception was highest," Saad explained in the news release. "Those same psychological and physiological mechanisms now lead women to engage in greater consumption of products relevant to reproductive drives during the fertile phase of their cycle." 

Food consumption was found to be lowest during the fertility days and the appetites were found to be the maximum in the luteal or infertile phase of their menstrual cycle (roughly day 16 to 28 of a 28-day cycle).

Also, researchers noted that women craved for high calorie food during their non fertile time. 

"Women consume more calories during the luteal phase because they've evolved psychological and physiological mechanisms that favored non-mating-related activities like food foraging during the non-fertile phase of their cycles," noted Saad. "Different Darwin pulls, such as mating versus food, take precedence depending on a woman's menstrual status." 

According to the authors of the study, the findings could help women make more conscious decisions on their shopping and eating habits.  

"These consumption behaviors take place without women's conscious awareness of how hormonal fluctuations affect their choices as consumers," said Saad according to the report.

"Our research helps highlight when women are most vulnerable to succumbing to cyclical temptations for high-calorie foods and appearance-enhancing products. These findings can help women to make choices for themselves contrary to the old canard of biological determinism." 

The study was published recently in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

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