Thursday, April 16, 2015

Battle of the Bulge: There is No Comfort Here

Pesach is my holiday. Amongst my favorite foods, hent matzah and potatoes are close to the top of the list. Happy happy joy joy as I consume it, idiot idiot idiot as I wobble out the yontif week. 

Comfort food? According to a new study, no such thing ("The Myth of Comfort Food" by Jan Hoffman).
“People have this belief that high-calorie foods are the path out of difficult feelings,” said Kelly D. Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, who studies obesity and behavior and was not involved in this research. “But the assignment of the word ‘comfort’ to these foods implies there is a relationship between ‘comfort’ and ‘food’ that may not exist.”
I have noticed it myself. Following an atrocious date, I don't find any joy in mindlessly stuffing my face in cake. It doesn't make me feel any better. It's more along the lines of "Why bother watching myself?" If anything, because I'm in a bad mood, my favorite food doesn't taste as good as it usually does. 

But I would see cartoons of weeping, jilted women tunneling through ice cream tubs, and I figured I must be missing out on some sort of magic cure.
The study points out that bad moods tend to end, without the help of the freezer section or candy aisle. 
Dr. Mann said the study’s findings helped demystify the belief that comfort food is uniquely comforting. “Let’s not say we’re allowed to eat something because it will make us feel better about whatever we’re suffering,” she said. “People are looking for a justification to eat something unhealthy. Just eat the ice cream! It’s not magical. But it is yummy.”  
So it is. So it is. 

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