Comfort Food, Why Can’t We Stop Eating It?

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07:  In this photo-illustration a man eats French fries purchased from a fast food outlet on January 7, 2013 in Bristol, England.  A government-backed TV advert - made by Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit - to promote healthy eating in England, is to be shown for the first time later today. England has one of the highest rates of obesity in Europe - costing the NHS 5 billion GDP each year - with currently over 60 percent of adults and a third of 10 and 11 year olds thought to be overweight or obese.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Everyone enjoys that great taste of comfort food. It could be our favorite greasy pizza, the lovely deep-fried whatever, or an entire chocolate cake, whatever it is, when comfort food crosses one’s path, we tend to eat it with nothing in mind except how wonderful it taste. And how can we get away from it? Honestly, we really can’t. Comfort food makes up 90% any place we go. Baseball games there is garlic fries and hamburgers, restaurants are filled with carb loaded pasta and bread, and a fair or concert will supply us with an enormous amount of deep fried foods our hearts will probably give out.

But lets not dwell on how bad we feel after consuming these rich, flavorful foods and actually think about the science going on behind the scenes. Researchers think that we associate food with happy memories which then effects and impacts how good we feel when we eat those foods. And that makes sense right? You go on an amazing date and eat some great food and bam! Memory. You have a family reunion or everyone over for the holidays and you know your favorite meals are going to be served. There’s another happy memory.

According to Time a new research has been found showing us that comfort foods also reminds us of social ties and often make us feel less lonely or isolated when we eat those favorite comfort foods. A study was done by Jordan Troisi, an assistant professor of psychology at Sewanee, and him and his colleagues found out that people who have durable relationships then prefer the taste of comfort food when they are feeling lonely or isolated.

And that all makes sense right, when we eat some of our favorite comfort foods it brings back some amazing memories of the times we had while eating those foods.Chelsea Reid, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher, said that humans have a fundamental need to belong and linking memories with comfort foods is a way to obtain that sense of belonging even when people are not close by.

So maybe when those corn dogs or ice cream sundaes make your stomach rumble, it isn’t because you are hungry, but more feeling the effects of what those comfort foods really mean to you.

[Image by Matt Cardy/Getty Images]


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