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Reported March 12, 2014

Too Sad for Chocolate?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – The pleasure and instant gratification you get from eating excessive amounts of chocolate and deep-fried foods can lead to negative consequences ranging from weight gain to low self-esteem.  A new study found the same kind self-destructive behavior may be achieved simply by making a person feel bad.

In a series of five experiments, researchers studied the behavior of participants exposed to either indulgent or neutral words or images and then made to feel sad. Results showed when people were first exposed to pleasurable information and then made to feel sad, they ate fewer indulgent foods. The researchers also found these participants were more likely to indicate how consuming indulgent foods could lead to health problems. In contrast, the people exposed to neutral information and then made to feel sad ate more indulgent foods.

“Our research has important implications for consumers, particularly as obesity remains a major health concern in the United States,” study authors Anthony Salerno, Juliano Laran, and Chris Janiszewski wrote. “For brands looking to understand what triggers help and hinder people in their ability to eat healthy foods, we provide insight into when sadness might aid consumers in becoming less prone to indulging in unhealthy foods on a daily basis.”

For more information, go to:   http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/675299?uid=3739600&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103635767867

SOURCE: Journal of Consumer Research, March 2014

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