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Eating Behaviours, Uncategorized

3) Mood and eating behaviour

Some psychologists suggest that extreme eating behaviour, such as bingeing, is due to mood. So for some people bingeing is a way of escaping a negative mood.

Davis et al (1988) found that bulimic individuals had more negative moods an hour before binges then they did at other times, suggesting that bingeing is a result of a negative mood.

Garge et al observed 38 participants as they watched either a sad or upbeat film. He offered them either buttery popcorn or grapes and found that those watching the sad film ate 36% more popcorn and far fewer grapes than those watching the happy film. This suggests a link between mood and comfort eating as we look to alleviate a bad mood by consuming food, or as Garge called it, wanting to “jolt themselves out of the dumps”.


Face validity – This explanation has a lot of face validity, especially the idea of “comfort eating”, as it is something a lot of people do a lot of the time!

Parker et al found that although chocolate does have an antidepressant effect, it is more likely to prolong a negative mood rather than alleviate it, this question why we would choose to eat it to reduce a negative mood.


About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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