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Comfort Foods Relieve Loneliness When They Are Associated With Loved Ones

March 21, 2011: 07:02 PM EST
Comfort foods may not be particularly healthy for the body, but if they are associated with loved ones and people close to us, they can have significant psychological value for lonely people, according to a U.S. study. For the study, participants either wrote about fights they had had with people close to them, or about neutral topics. They then either wrote about eating comfort foods – mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, etc. – or new foods. Researchers found that writing about a fight with someone close made people feel lonely, but they could rescue themselves from those feelings by writing about comfort food. “Thinking about or consuming these foods serves as a reminder of those close others,” the researchers concluded.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Comfort Food Fights Loneliness", News release, Association for Psychological Science, March 21, 2011, © Association for Psychological Science
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