Study finds most people choose junk food to satisfy the munchies

There's a certain stereotype associated with 'the munchies,' one that describes a person who, after getting suitably high, gravitates toward junk food to satisfy their increased appetite. A new study looked at whether there's an element of truth to this trope and the results are anything but surprising: most people experiencing 'the munchies' choose junk food over healthy alternatives.

The study comes from researchers with the University of Buffalo. Though the findings are based on surveys, those surveys were administered to a group of people uniquely positioned to answer questions about the munchies: most of them were high at the time the surveys were given.

The questionnaires were filled out by 275 people at the 2016 Hash Bash, an annual public event at the University of Michigan. In addition to questions about what they eat when under the influence of cannabis, the participants were also asked to state how intoxicated they were at the time the questionnaires were filled out.

The key element to the study was a free snack offered to people who filled out the surveys: they could choose either an orange or a bag of chips. Almost two-thirds of the 275 participants chose the chips instead of the orange, with 32-percent taking the orange and 7-percent taking neither.

Based on the responses, participants who reported typically eating unhealthy snacks while high were more likely to choose the chips, while participants who reported eating healthy snacks were more likely to choose the orange. Despite the participants' having had intoxication ratings that ranged from 'not at all' to 'extremely,' how high they were didn't really impacted response patterns.

The results indicate that while most cannabis users can make healthy snack choices while high, they still prefer junk food.