Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mood-food connection: We eat more and less-healthy comfort foods when we feel down

02.02.2007
People feeling sad tend to eat more of less-healthy comfort foods than when they feel happy, finds a new study co-authored by a Cornell food marketing expert. However, when nutritional information is available, those same sad people curb their hedonistic consumption. But happier people don't.

In the January issue of the Journal of Marketing, Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing, Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, and two colleagues describe several studies they devised to test the link between mood and food. For example, they recruited 38 administrative assistants to watch either an upbeat, funny movie ("Sweet Home Alabama") or a sad, depressing one ("Love Story"). Throughout the viewings the participants were offered hot buttered, salty popcorn and seedless grapes.

"After the movies were over and the tears were wiped away, those who had watched 'Love Story' had eaten 36 percent more popcorn than those who had watched the upbeat 'Sweet Home Alabama,'" said Wansink, author of the recent book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" (Bantam Books). "Those watching 'Sweet Home Alabama' ate popcorn and popped grapes, but they spent much more time popping grapes as they laughed through the movie than they did eating popcorn."

Wansink suspects that happy people want to maintain or extend their moods in the short term, but consider the long term and so turn to comfort food with more nutritional value. People feeling sad or depressed, however, just want to "jolt themselves out of the dumps" with a quick indulgent snack that tastes good and gives them an immediate "bump of euphoria."

To see whether nutritional information influences comfort-food consumption, the researchers offered popcorn to volunteers who completed several assignments, including irrelevant mental tasks, writing descriptions of four things that made them happy (or sad) and reading short stories that were either happy or sad. One group reviewed nutritional information about popcorn, while the other did not.

The researchers found that the sad people with no nutritional information ate twice as much popcorn as those feeling happy. In the groups that reviewed nutritional labels, however, the happy people ate about the same amount, but the sad people dramatically curbed their consumption, eating even less popcorn than the happy people.

"Thus, it appears that happy people are already avoiding consumption, and the presence of nutritional information does not drive their consumption any lower," said Wansink.

"While each of us may look for a comfort food when we are either sad or happy, we are likely to eat more of it when we are sad," Wansink concluded. "Since nutritional information appears to influence how much people eat when they are in sad moods, those eating in a sad mood would serve themselves well by checking the nutritional information of the comfort foods they choose to indulge themselves with."

The studies were conducted with Nitika Garg of the University of Mississippi and J. Jeffrey Inman of the University of Pittsburgh.

Press Relations Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California

24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>