In The Mood For Food

By
Sunday, 17 September, 2000


According to a US psychologist, the mood a person is in can influence the choice of foods eaten and choice of foods eaten can influence mood.

It was reported at the 14th annual CSIRO Food Industry Conference that distress creates a craving for carbohydrate and fat-rich snack foods, which temporarily relieve some of the symptoms. When the symptoms return, the cycle begins again.

Chair of Psychology at the University of South Alabama and author of 'The food-mood connection: eating your way to happiness' discussed the relationship between mood and food choice and how it differs between men and women. Men are more likely to eat after a happy event and more likely than women to eat snack foods when in a happy frame of mind.

Research has shown that mood also influences the type of food chosen. Both men and women are more likely to eat vegetarian foods after a happy event than after a sad event. Women are more likely to eat sweet foods following a sad event than after a happy event.

People are increasingly aware of the links between diet and health. These results are a reminder that emotional state is one of the factors which may influence the choice of food.

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