One Reason We Eat the Whole Thing of Ice Cream when We're Depressed? We Can't Taste It!

by Lexi Petronis


photo by Romulo A Yanesphoto by Romulo A Yanes Do you turn to sweets and fatty foods when you're feeling down? I know, the sad-lady-eating-all-the-ice-cream is kind of a cliche that you see in basically every romantic comedy, ever--but a lot of us really do seek comfort in high-calorie, sugary foods when we're depressed. And now, a new study is showing why we might not be able to stop eating.

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Researchers from the University of Wurzburg in Germany have discovered that temporary, strong emotions--like what you might feel after watching a super-sad movie--can actually hinder your ability to taste the fat in food.

In the study, participants who were already feeling sad and anxious according to a survey on depression watched videos that had weepy story lines and others that had happy ones. After both, they drank creamy beverages that had different levels of fat in them. It turned out that they experienced stronger sensitivities to bitter, sweet, and sour tastes, but their ability to distinguish fat got much worse.

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According to researcher Paul Breslin, these findings may be correlated with some evidence suggesting that people who are mildly depressed and have higher body weights may actually have lower sensitivities to fat. Says Breslin: If "they don't know the fat is there and eat it, they may be inadvertently eating more fat....That's sort of the concern here."

So interesting! What do you think of the study? Do you find yourself eating certain foods when you're feeling blue? What are your go-to comfort foods?

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