Happiness may cause emotional eating

14 May 2013

New research indicates that happiness may a common cause of obesity. Comfort eating has previously been linked with anxiety and depression, but new findings show that feelings of elation and excitement can have an even more pronounced effect.

The study, conducted by a group of Dutch psychologists at Maastricht University, show that emotional eaters are more likely to indulge in their bad habit when they’re feeling upbeat. In the experiment, researchers simulated emotional reactions in 87 subjects by showing them movie clips. Individuals who were exposed to a humorous or light-hearted scene consumed more calories afterward in comparison to those who were shown a depressing clip.

“The current findings underline the importance of positive emotions in emotional eating, and provide new insights on the relationship between eating and mood melioration,” said co-author of the study, Peggy Bongers.

Nearly a quarter of British men and 26 per cent of women are classified as obese. The study could help a number of overweight individuals pinpoint bad habits and improve their relationship with food in the future, resulting in decreased instances of obesity.

If you have a habit of emotional eating, consider a gastric balloon to help curb your appetite and increase satisfaction after a meal.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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