Taking multivitamins promotes a false sense of invulnerability that actually leads its users to engage in riskier behaviours, a new study has claimed.
Taiwanese researchers conducted an experiment in which they gave placebos to 82 adults (45 women, 37 men, average age 31) and half of this group was led to believe that the placebo they were taking was a multivitamin.
After one week, all participants took surveys regarding their inclinations towards various healthy vs. less healthy behaviours.
Those subjects thinking they were taking multivitamins registered a 44 percent higher tendency to engage in hedonistic activities like casual sex, sunbathing, partying, binge drinking, as well as a 61 percent increased preference for all-you-can-eat buffets over healthy meals.
Compared to the placebo group, the “multivitamin” group not only reported exercising 14 percent less, they were 66 percent more likely to walk the shortest distance to their goal over a given time.
The researchers conclude that people relying on a multivitamin pay a hidden price, believing they have greater invulnerability and so adopt lazy, riskier behaviours that may actually lead to the exact opposite health outcomes they desire.