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Good Times Can Reduce Stress Eating

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Do you overeat when times get tough? A study suggests that the opposite might also be true: Positive experiences may help you eat less. Researchers assigned 250 people to experience social rejection, inclusion, or neither. Unwitting participants then completed an ice cream “taste test” that assessed how much they ate following the stressful or pleasant experience. As expected, stress eaters in the social rejection group ate more than peers who didn’t classify themselves as stress eaters. But the reverse was also true: After a positive social experience, stress eaters ate less than participants who said they didn’t eat when stressed. The findings challenge the long-held view that stress eaters are at a greater risk for weight gain. Instead, positive experiences may lead to less overeating for stress eaters.
Source: Psychological Science, published online Oct. 28, 2013