Positive emotions provoke “social overeating”

It is generally accepted that people “eat up ” stress.
However, scientists from the Netherlands Maastricht University held an experiment, in which they proved that positive emotions also can provoke overeating.

The scientists selected a group of 87 volunteers.

The criteria were:

  • Eating habits
  • Mental health.

Then, the participants of the experiment were shown video films that were supposed to cause either positive or negative emotions, or not to cause any emotions at all.

The experiment subjects gave:

  • a positive response to the movies “Mr. Bean” and “When Harry Met Sally”
  • a sharply negative response to scenes with executions
    no special reaction to the documentaries.

After each viewing, participants were given high-calorie snacks, and the amount of calories consumed was measured.

It turned out that people ate more and chose more high-calorie food after comedies, while no overeating was registered after an unpleasant video.

Scientists have discovered one more feature:

When going through positive emotions, the experiment participants preferred to gorge in the company.

From this, the experts concluded that “social overeating” (in the company) is provoked by positive emotions. While people tend to eat alone because of negative emotions.

Either way, overeating is linked with emotions (up to 75% of cases) and eating disorders.