What is comfort food?
In fact, a study by the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science says that comfort foods provide us with emotional and psychological comfort, and are often nostalgic or sentimental, reminding us of a positive experience of a time, place or person.
Why do we eat comfort food?
But, did you know that men and women eat comfort foods for different reasons? A study by Kitchen Cabinet Kings of 1000 Americans found that 45% of men eat comfort food when they are happy, and 47% women crave comfort food when they’re stressed.
A study by Charles Spence also found that the reasons we eat comfort food vary.
- 4% eat comfort food when tired
- 7% eat comfort food when lonely
- 5% eat comfort food when homesick
- 4% eat comfort food when stressed
- 8% eat comfort food when happy
- 6% eat comfort food when sad
- 1% eat comfort food to celebrate accomplishing something
Does comfort food actually make you happier?
Another study found that how comfort food makes you feel also varies according to your gender; 43% of men experienced feelings of neutrality after eating comfort food, while 49% of women feel guilty about indulging, and 28% of those who identify as non-binary feel neutral after eating their favourite comfort foods. So, it looks like comfort food doesn’t actually make you happy.
In fact, research indicates that cooking is good for your mental health, so if you're feeling blue, perhaps you should cook your own food instead!