- Morning and evening are the two weak periods when changing negative emotions can affect food choices.
- “We can improve our current interventions to be individually tailored to the environmental, social, emotional and cognitive contexts in which poor eating occurs,” the researchers said.
Emotions play an important role in children’s choices and eating habits, especially during the weekends. This was revealed by researchers from the University of Southern California in the United States. To reach this conclusion, they conducted a study published in the journal Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
For its implementation, scientists recruited 195 children aged 9 years. Participants used a mobile application and were called seven times a day to answer questions. During these calls, they were asked if they were feeling stressed, angry or sad and if they had made so-called “unhealthy” food choices, ie eating fried foods or sweets. Or either sugary drinks within the previous two hours.
Of all the products, the consumption of sugary foods was reported most often. Children reported eating sweets or pastries at least once a day for 40% of the days. French fries or french fries were eaten at least once per day for approximately 30% of the days, and sugary drinks were consumed at least once per day for 25% of the days.
The authors also identified several negative emotions throughout the day. At work, the children reported stable and low negative moods for 90% of the days, but the rest of the time their moods varied throughout the day. “We found that consumption of fried foods was higher on days with more mood swings than on days with consistent low negative moods,” Kristen Hotaru Naya, author of the research, said in statement.
According to the researcher: “Children are more likely to consume unhealthy foods on the weekends, when meals and snacks are less organized and supervised than on school days.”
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