Are you guilty of reaching for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s as an antidote for sadness? Well, you may want to hold off on ice cream the next time you are feeling down in the dumps.
That’s because a new study reveals that so-called comfort foods like ice cream and candy don’t really offer that much comfort. In fact, you’ll end up feeling better after some time regardless of whether or not you indulged in your favorite treat.
The myth of comfort foods was busted by psychologists at the University of Minnesota. As part of their study, researchers asked people to pick their favorite comfort foods. They were also asked to pick foods that they liked but that they didn’t think would boost their mood, Live Science reports.
Participants then watched an 20-minute video geared at making them feel sad, angry or afraid. After watching the video people immediately rated their mood and were served their preferred comfort food. The experiment was conducted several times, with a different snack (or none at all) served each time.
Here’s where the study takes a wild turn. All of the participants were in a bad mood after watching the video but their mood improved after just three minutes, this happened regardless of whether they had their comfort food, another food, or no food at all, according to Live Science.
"We were incredibility surprised by those results," said study researcher Heather Scherschel Wagner, a doctorate candidate at the University of Minnesota, who presented the results to the Association for Psychological Science.
Are you convinced that comfort foods don’t work? Share your thoughts in the comments below and tell us what your favorite comfort food is and why.
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