Call it the happy meal diet.
A study conducted by Cornell University found that mood is affected by what kind and how much food a person eats.
The study was the subject of a paper, “Better Moods for Better Eating: How Mood Influences Food Choice,” which was published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
“People use food to either maintain a good mood or regain a good mood,” said Brian Wansink, a professor at Cornell and co-author of the paper, in a release. “And if you’re already in a good mood, you tend to eat more healthfully than if you’re in a bad mood.”
“Understanding why we make bad food choices in bad moods can help us make better choices,” said Meryl P. Gardner, co-author and associate professor at the University of Delaware.
The authors suggest that people in a bad mood may have clouded vision, and may not realize the damage they are doing in the long haul when they overindulge in the spur of the moment.
“The takeaway of this study is you can change your mood and eat better. Before a snack or meal, think of something that makes you happy or grateful, and you’ll eat less and better,” said Wansink.