Summary: The Influence Of Emotional Eating

Obesity is a major health concern in the United States, in which stress and other negative emotions may be contributing to the high percentage of people who are obese. There has been much research on how the food we eat disturbs our physical health however, little research has been done on the relationship between eating behavior and one’s emotional state. This is known as emotional eating in which people use food as a way to make themselves feel better, in which eating fills their emotional need, but not their stomach. Research has shown that the relationship between food and mood is a two way road: our moods can influence the type and amount of food we consume, while the food we consume can in turn influence our later mood, which can lead …show more content…
A key influence to emotional eating is how people decide to respond to the stress or situation (Stevens,2000). People who are typically less thrown off by stress tend to focus on how they want to beneficially deal with a negative situation or they simply move on (Stevens,2000). Those who tend to experience more disruption due to a negative situation are more likely to stay focused on the problem, mentally replaying the distressing situation over and over again and turn to food to deal with the stress. (Stevens,2000). Symptoms of emotional eating include: overeating during or immediately after stressful experiences; eating excessive amounts of food in a short period; eating until the point of discomfort or pain; being incapable of stopping or limiting intake once eating has begun; and shame in the aftermath of eating binges (Tucson,2016). Dangerous physical symptoms that come from eating too much due to stress include: high blood pressure; diabetes; malnutrition; obesity; high blood press; high cholesterol; anxiety; and depression …show more content…
A research study looks at eating behaviors of male and female undergraduate college students in response to stress. The study administered questionnaires to participates, evaluating their beliefs about the effects of stress on their eating behavior (Oliver & Wardle,1999). The results of this particular study showed that the participants reported that they would increase their over food intake when under stress by 42% and decrease their overall food intake when under stress by 37% (Oliver & Wardle,1999). 73% of participants reported an increase consumption of snack-type foods when under stress (Oliver & Wardle,1999). A possible explanation why people turn to snack-type foods, such as sweets, chocolates, fried foods and chips may be due to the fact that they are quick to eat, calorically dense, and are also a convenient choice when we are under stress and have no time to eat. These snack-type foods also boost levels of serotonin, which improves mood and relieves stress (Oliver & Wardle,1999). Hence, individuals are typically drawn to snack-type foods as a way to deal with their

Related Documents

Related Topics