Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stress eaters may compensate by eating less when times are good

31.10.2013
When faced with stress, some people seem to lose their appetite while others reach for the nearest sweet, salty, or fatty snack.

Conventional wisdom tells us that stress eaters are the ones who need to regulate their bad habits, but new research suggests that stress eaters show a dynamic pattern of eating behavior that could have benefits in non-stressful situations.

The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, shows that "munchers" and "skippers" display compensatory patterns of consumption in response to positive and negative social situations. While munchers in the study ate more after being stressed, they ate less in response to a positive situation; skippers actually showed the reverse pattern, eating more after a positive experience.

"These findings challenge the simplistic view that stress eaters need to regulate their eating behavior to prevent weight gain," says lead researcher Gudrun Sproesser of the University of Konstanz, in Germany. "Both skippers and munchers have their 'soft spot' for food, they just show different compensatory eating patterns in response to positive and negative situations."

Sproesser and colleagues recruited volunteers to participate in a study on "first impressions." The participants interacted with an unfamiliar partner by video before meeting them in person. After making their own videos, the participants received one of three messages in return: Some heard that their partner had decided not to meet with them after seeing the video, while others heard that their partner liked them and looked forward to meeting them. A third control group was told that the experiment had to be cancelled for other reasons.

Then, the participants went on to participate in a supposedly unrelated study involving a taste test for three flavors of ice cream. They were allowed to eat as much ice cream as they wanted.

The results showed that, when faced with negative feedback, self-identified munchers ate more ice cream than participants in the control group, while self-identified skippers ate less. Munchers ate, on average, about 120 more calories' worth of ice cream than did the skippers.

But, when faced with positive feedback, munchers actually ate less than the control group, while skippers tended to eat more — the skippers consumed, on average, 74 calories' worth more than the munchers.

"We predicted that munchers and skippers differ in food intake after experiencing a positive situation," says Sproesser. "However, we were rather surprised that the data showed an almost mirror image in ice cream consumption when compared to the data from the social exclusion condition."

The research offers insight for anyone who wants to understand the relationship between stress and eating, but it has specific importance for clinicians and practitioners working to promote healthy eating.The patterns of calorie consumption suggest that the behavior of both munchers and skippers could significantly influence body weight over time.

"Stress eaters should not be considered at risk to gain weight by default," says Sproesser. "Our results suggest the need for a dynamic view of food intake across multiple situations, positive and negative."

"Furthermore, our findings suggest rethinking the recommendation to regulate stress eating. Skipping food when being stressed may cause additional stress in munchers and could possibly disturb compensation across situations."

For more information about this study, please contact: Gudrun Sproesser at gudrun.sproesser@uni-konstanz.de.

Co-authors include Harald T. Schupp and Britta Renner of the University of Konstanz. This research was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The article abstract is available online: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/28/0956797613494849.abstract

The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "The Bright Side of Stress-Induced Eating: Eating More When Stressed but Less When Pleased" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.

Anna Mikulak | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>