Foods like macaroni and cheese, ice cream, or spaghetti and meatballs could bring you a sense of ease, but it’s not the food that gives us this sense, rather it is the people who made the dish. Published in the journal, Appetite, a new study traces the complicated relationships of humans piled with food and why we see food with a certain connection and memories.
“Comfort foods are often given to us when we were still kids with our babysitter,” Shira Gabriel, a psychology professor at the University of Buffalo, said in a press release. “Since we have an emotional connection with the person who made the food, then there’s a great probability that you will need that food during times of neglect or isolation.”
Humans drift toward certain foods because of the definite connections they have with the person making the food, and not the food itself. Earlier research found comfort food can diminish feelings of neglect and confinement, but now they understood that because of the people not the food itself.
Parents create psyche connections in their child’s mind to specific foods they grew up cooking and eating. For example, dad’s homemade spaghetti may not be the appetizing food you’ve been served, but the emotional link is there and that tops any Italian restaurant.
Researchers found their participants favor foods full of starch and fat. Pizza pies and cheese fries may be the origin of gratification for some couples who learn to assist leisure time with each other and those foods. Brian Wansink, a Cornell Food Scientist, said that comfort foods feed both our body and soul.
A study performed in his Food and Brand Lab discovered that men prefer hot prepared meals, while women prefer packaged foods and desserts. The men confessed they go for pizza, pasta, soup, and stake because it made them feel wanted. While women chose candy, cookies, ice cream, and chocolate because it was a hassle-free way to satisfy
The new research will shed some information on to how we work with food and why. By understanding the psychological relationship people form with food, healthier interference have the potential to replace unhealthy habits.