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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013 May;64(3):261-8. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2012.734288. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

The relationship between emotions and food consumption (macronutrient) in a foodservice college setting - a preliminary study.

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Foodservice and Applied Nutrition Research Group, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK.


Many aspects of eating out have been studied, yet emotions remain an under-researched area, despite having been shown to play a significant role in food consumption. The aim of this research is to critically evaluate the relationship between emotions and food consumption (macronutrient) in a realistic eating environment, a college cafeteria. Subjects (n = 408), diners using a cafeteria, completed an emotions questionnaire before and after freely choosing, paying for and consuming a hot main meal. The results demonstrated a greater feeling of contentment with a high fat, high energy meal, whereas with a low carbohydrate meal, participants felt unfulfilled. In addition, a high protein meal also leads to a feeling of contentment. These results are rather counter-intuitive to public health nutrition policy but indicate the importance of inclusion of a protein or high carbohydrate item in any dish design in a foodservice setting.

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