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.
"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."