Feeling happy and thinking about food: counteractive effects of mood and memory on food consumption

Rebecca Collins, Lorenzo D. Stafford

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Abstract

Separate lines of research have demonstrated the role of mood and memory in the amount of food we consume. However, no work has examined these factors in a single study and given their combined effects beyond food research, this would seem important. In this study, the interactive effect of these factors was investigated. Unrestrained female participants (n = 64) were randomly assigned to either a positive or neutral mood induction, and were subject to a lunch cue (recalling their previously eaten meal) or no lunch cue, followed by a snack taste/intake test. We found that in line with prediction that food intake was lower in the lunch cue versus no cue condition and in contrast, food intake was higher in the positive versus neutral mood condition. We also found that more food was consumed in the lunch cue/positive mood compared to lunch cue/neutral mood condition. This suggests that positive mood places additional demands on attentional resources and thereby reduces the inhibitory effect of memory on food consumption. These findings confirm that memory cue and positive mood exert opposing effects on food consumption and highlight the importance of both factors in weight control interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
JournalAppetite
Volume84
Early online date10 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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