A recent study looked at comfort foods and their role in alleviating loneliness.
Jordan Troisi, a graduate student at the University of Buffalo, and lead author of the study evaluated the effect of food in warding off loneliness. In his experiment, a particular group was asked to write about a fight with someone dear. This triggered loneliness in the group.
Another group was given a writing assignment on a neutral subject. After this exercise, some members in the group w ere asked to write about the experience of eating comfort foods, while some others wrote about their experience eating a new variety of food. Subsequently, the participants' levels of loneliness were assessed by way of a questionnaire.
The study revealed that when people wrote about a fight with somebody close, it made them feel lonely. Writing about comfort foods uplifted their spirits and made them feel good.
"We have found that comfort foods are foods which are consistently associated with those close to us. Thinking about or consuming these foods later then serves as a reminder of those close."