There could be a biological reason why people engage in stress eating! That could be good news for those of us who want an excuse to drown our sorrows in mint chip ice cream. A recent study out of Wurzburg, Germany shows that some people really may not know how much fat they are eating when they are upset.
In this study, 48 women and 32 men between the ages of 19 and 47 were shown 3 videos. One was a sad video of a son mourning is father, the second was a happy video of a man giving a woman flowers and the third was a boring workplace training video. With strong emotions came a 15% higher sensitivity to bitter, sweet and sour, but a decrease in taste sensitivity to fat. These results show how stress eating may include a preference for more high fat foods.
“We believe that our data on sweet, sour and bitter tastes support prior observations of a relationship between subclinical depression and anxiety and taste thresholds…Whereas a decrease in the ability of slightly subclinically depressed subjects to rate fat concentrations accurately when in negative or positive mood has not previously been reported,” the researchers concluded.
Luxury depression treatment should always include evaluation of eating habits.