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Unhealthy Eating Leaves You in a Bad Mood

If you are in a bad mood don't try to comfort yourself with unhealthy food. Christie Nicholson reports

The Easter bunny’s gifts of chocolate may taste sweet, but they leave your attitude sour. Because a study finds that if you’re in a crummy mood to begin with, unhealthy eating can leave you feeling even worse.

Researchers had 131 women record their moods and eating habits each day for a week. The researchers wanted to limit the study to the effect of bad eating on the otherwise healthy, so although the subjects admitted to having unhealthy eating habits, no one had a diagnosed eating disorders.

An analysis of the food and mood diaries resulting from the week of the study found that if women were feeling low, anxious, sad or angry, eating too much or too little made that mood even worse. Interestingly, if the women were in a good mood, there was no change in their mood after eating too much or too little.

The researchers note that we often eat to comfort ourselves or try to remedy a bad mood—but this study shows that such eating for consolation may make us feel even worse. Something to keep in mind when you find yourself reaching for the second ear of the chocolate bunny.

—Christie Nicholson

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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