"Mindfully" Eating Chocolate Increases Positive Mood



A great study out of Gettysburg College's Psychology department. Each participant was randomly asked to eat either a cracker or piece of chocolate either mindfully or non-mindfully. Researchers found that eating chocolate mindfully (focusing on the ingredient production) rather than simply eating without thinking produces an actual increase in a positive mood over other participants.

A fun study on the effect of chocolate and what it does to the people who eat it, but it also shows that mindfully eating a comfort food can better increase a positive mood over mindlessly snacking.

Abstract from The Sweet Life: The Effect of Minful Chocolate Consumption on Mood published via Appetite, Volume 108:
Chocolate consumption is anecdotally associated with an increase in happiness, but little experimental work has examined this effect. We combined a food type manipulation (chocolate vs. crackers) with a mindfulness manipulation (mindful consumption vs. non-mindful consumption) and examined the impact on positive mood. Participants (N = 258) were randomly assigned to eat a small portion (75 calories) of chocolate or a control food (crackers) in a mindful or non-mindful way. Participants who were instructed to mindfully eat chocolate had a greater increase in positive mood compared to participants who were instructed to eat chocolate non-mindfully or crackers either mindfully or non-mindfully. Additional analyses revealed that self-reported liking of the food partially mediated this effect. Chocolate appears to increase positive mood, but particularly when it is eaten mindfully.
Confectionery News called it 'candy karma,' and reported on how the participants were asked to eat mindfully - by holding the chocolate or cracker and thinking about the people who actually made the ingredients that were needed for production.

Sources:

Meier, Brian P. "The Sweet Life: The Effect of Mindful Chocolate Consumption on Mood." Science Direct. Appetite, 15 Sept. 2016. Web. 06 Oct. 2016. 

NIEBURG, Oliver. "Candy Karma: Eating Chocolate 'mindfully' Boosts Mood, Says NCA-backed Study." ConfectioneryNews.com. N.p., 05 Oct. 2016. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.  




+Renee Shelton
Twitter: @121degreesC
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