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Feeling sad affects our ability to taste fat in food

Published on 10/06/2013

Our emotions can cause us to taste food differently and make us less able to acknowledge how much fat we are eating, a new study suggests.

Obesity is widely commonplace in the developed world

According to the research, being sad can negatively alter how you register your fat intake and affect taste ratings.

Scientists from the University of Wurzburg in Germany conducted an experiment on eighty volunteers who were shown video clips to induce corresponding moods. Three different videos were shown including a sad one, a happy one and a neutral one.

The volunteers were all mildly depressed or anxious before the study and before they were shown any clips.

According to NHS statistics, obesity rates in England stand at 24% for men and 26% for women.

The participants were then asked to taste a range of milk-based drinks with varying levels of fat in them. Following on from the sad video the volunteers could not detect whether the drinks were high in fat or not as effectively as those who had watched the happy or neutral video.

The authors of the study said: “This is the first study to investigate both the effects of mood and effect on the perceptions of taste and dairy fat.

“Regarding fat, recent evidence suggests that consumption of fat may play a major role in eating disorders, especially affecting emotional eating while in negative mood.”

The emotional state of the participants was assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory before they consumed the drinks. The Beck Depression Inventory is a 21-question multiple-choice instrument designed to assess the severity of depression.

The research follows a Weight Watchers survey that found nearly three-quarters of Brits are not following diet guidelines and feasting on unhealthy snacks to alleviate the gloom of the current economic climate.

The study also found that 18.3 million people have gained weight due to their dwindling financial situation as they turn to cheap, aggressively-marketed foods which are usually unhealthy.

Health insurance can provide you with psychiatric treatment if you are concerned about psychological conditions.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health InsuranceHealthMedical
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