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Appetite. 2007 Nov;49(3):667-74. Epub 2007 May 23.

Immediate effects of chocolate on experimentally induced mood states.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology (Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy), University of Würzburg, Marcusstr. 9-11, 97070 Würzburg, Germany. macht@psychologie.uni-wuerszburg.de

Abstract

In this work two hypotheses were tested: (1) that eating a piece of chocolate immediately affects negative, but not positive or neutral mood, and (2) that this effect is due to palatability. Experiment 1 (48 normal-weight and healthy women and men) examined the effects of eating a piece of chocolate and drinking water on negative, positive and neutral mood states induced by film clips. Eating chocolate reduced negative mood compared to drinking water, whereas no or only marginal effects were found on neutral and positive moods. Experiment 2 (113 normal-weight and healthy women and men) compared effects of eating palatable and unpalatable chocolate on negative mood, and examined the duration of chocolate-induced mood change. Negative mood was improved after eating palatable chocolate as compared to unpalatable chocolate or nothing. This effect was short lived, i.e., it disappeared after 3 min. In both experiments, chocolate-induced mood improvement was associated with emotional eating. The present studies demonstrate that eating a small amount of sweet food improves an experimentally induced negative mood state immediately and selectively and that this effect of chocolate is due to palatability. It is hypothesized that immediate mood effects of palatable food contribute to the habit of eating to cope with stress.

PMID:
17597253
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2007.05.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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