A new study from the UK provides evidence that a bowl of ice cream or mashed potatoes can lift your spirits.
Researchers from the University of Surrey investigated the effects of eating on mood in 40 women who were either non-emotional or emotional eaters. Emotional eaters tend to eat in response to negative feelings rather than hunger. All women recorded their moods over one day and described how they felt after eating.
Eating was found to lift the spirits of all the women. Although emotional eaters reported feeling more hurried, irritated, tired, tense, angry and fearful than non-emotional eaters, there was no difference in the overall effect of food on a person's mood once they had eaten.
The findings suggest that emotional eating does not develop as a result of a greater effect of eating on mood in some individuals and not in others. The scientists say it is perhaps more likely that emotional eating develops as a result of an effect of eating on mood (only) when that effect is required.
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