In the past, we've documented how what you eat may impact your overall health, happiness and aging longevity. Now, a new study from Pennsylvania State University has revealed that the way you consume food can also play a role in how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
In one of the first studies to investigate how unhealthy eating habits – particularly binging and calorie-restriction – affect individuals who don't have related disorders like anorexia or bulimia, the researchers asked a group of young women to record their emotions and eating patterns throughout the day for an extended period. The participants in the study all had documented self-image issues, but did not suffer from eating disorders.
Based on this data, the scientists determined that unhealthy eating habits may directly contribute to and even increase the severity of negative emotions like depression.
Kristin Heron, an associate at the Penn State Survey Research Center, detailed the findings in a piece released by ScienceDaily.
"There was little in the way of mood changes right before the unhealthy eating behaviors. However, negative mood was significantly higher after these behaviors," Heron explained.
"We were interested in studying women in their everyday lives to see whether mood changed before or after they engaged in unhealthy eating and weight control behaviors," said Heron, contrasting her team's efforts with existing research on eating habits and mental well-being.
If you often indulge in a bit of late-night snacking as a pick-me-up, you may have felt a twinge of guilt afterward – especially if you're trying to age gracefully and watch your weight. But, this study indicates that you may want to think twice before turning to your favorite comfort foods to ease a foul mood.
At Longevity Centres of America, we know full well how the aging process can affect you physically and emotionally. Our anti-aging doctors can advise you on how to look and feel great as the years go on.