Some people eat to satisfy psychological needs, such as wanting to feel comfortable, happy, and relaxed. Comfort eating appears to be more prevalent among women than men. Many women eat to relax or relieve feelings of depression. Chocolate appears to be a favourite comfort food (see chocoholic and carbohydrate addict's diet). Comfort foods such as chocolate may contain chemicals that affect the brain, producing a calming effect and making a person feel happier. Comfort eating may also develop as a result of social conditioning.
Confectionery, for example, is often given to children as a sign of social approval and adults may indulge in confectionery because of the pleasant feelings with which it is associated. See also mood swings.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.