U.S. News & World Report:
Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf…they may be bad for your arteries, but according to an upcoming study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, they’re good for your heart and emotions. The study focuses on “comfort food” and how it makes people feel.
“For me personally, food has always played a big role in my family,” says Jordan Troisi, a graduate student at the University of Buffalo, and lead author on the study. The study came out of the research program of his co-author Shira Gabriel, which has looked at social surrogates—non-human things that make people feel like they belong. Some people counteract loneliness by bonding with their favorite TV show, building virtual relationships with a celebrity or a movie character, or looking at pictures and mementos of loved ones. Troisi and Gabriel wondered if comfort food could have the same effect by making people think of their nearest and dearest.