Just drawing comfort food improves people's moods

Craving pizza? You don't need to risk your diet by eating it, just DRAWING it will cheer you up.

So-called comfort food may cheer us up, but the usual price is that it is horribly unhealthy.

Now, a new study in the U.S. suggests we might not even need to eat pizza, pies and cakes to put us in a better mood – simply drawing them may be enough.

In a study by researchers at St Bonaventure University in New York, 61 students – two thirds of them women – were randomly divided into four groups.

All were given red, green, and black pencils, and instructed to draw pictures of food put in front of them.

One group drew high-fat, high-sugar cupcakes, another drew pictures of pizza, a third were shown strawberries while a fourth drew peppers.

Using a research method employed by psychologists to assess mood changes, the students – all of whom were drawing on an empty stomach - rated their hunger, mood and levels of interest and excitement before and after the five minute drawing exercise.

None of the groups felt significantly more hungry than each other, but there were huge differences in their mood swing.

Sketching fatty pizzas improved the subjects’ mood by a startling 28 per cent.

Drawing cupcakes and strawberries (high in sugar, low in fat) raised their spirits by 27 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

Only drawing the low fat, low sugar but bitter peppers proved a let-down.  Mood in the pepper group improved by only one per cent.

Researchers noted that as all the subjects used the same colors in their pictures, the mood change was likely due to the type of food they were being asked to reproduce.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, said their results bolstered growing evidence that simply seeing images of food has a positive impact on our mood.

Via Daily Mail
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