People Spend More and Eat More Calories Ordering Online vs. Over the Phone

By Mike Pomranz |

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Even something as simple as having to talk to someone over the phone can put your pizza ambitions in check. A study looked at tens of thousands of orders over a multi-year period from a single pizza chain location and found that people spent more and got higher calorie meals when they ordered online compared to when they ordered on the phone.

Researchers from the University of Toronto, Duke University and the National University of Singapore looked at 160,000 orders from 56,000 households placed between 2007 and 2011 at a North Carolina location of a pizza chain that wished to remain anonymous for the study. Based on this info, the research team was able to hunt down households that had made orders both online and over the phone and compare them to each other. What they found was that online orders had 14 percent more special instruction and 3.5 percent more calories.

“When we think we’re free from social judgments, we’ll order what we really want,” Ryan McDevitt, an economics professor at Duke’s Fuqua Graduate School of Business, was quoted as saying by the Huffington Post. McDevitt said the study even tried to account for the possibility that people simply were more worried about orders being misunderstood over the phone. One example he provided was that “double pepperoni” was a more common topping order online despite being just as easy to say on the phone.

All these findings are almost enough to make you feel guilty about your online ordering habits. But then you realize that if everyone is doing it, how wrong can it really be?

[h/t The Consumerist]

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