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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feeling Lonely? Mac & Cheese Might Be the Cure

Sometimes you just have to ask: "How come I knew that already without having to consult a shrink?" Brace yourselves for this shocker: Comfort food is, well, comforting.

That's right, as noted today in UPI.com, two graduate students from the University of Buffalo conducted an experiment in which three control groups were giving an assignment to write about something that made them feel lonely, but the group whose theme revolved around comfort food was able to pull itself out of the dark mood. (The study, published in the magazine Psychological Science, said nothing about weight gain).

"Throughout everyone's daily lives they experience stress, often associated with our connections with others," says Jordan Troisi, lead author of the study. "Comfort food can serve as a ready-made, easy resource for remedying a sense of loneliness." Glad to have it proved by science, but most of us know this just by using coming sense: Eat mac and cheese, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes can make us feel good but isn't going to help us fit into that swimming suit by summer; salads will make you love the way you look, but you'll be too sad to care. Feeling lonely? Might want to just make a new friend instead of looking to food for the answer.

by Bill Sertl

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