Comfort food is traditional food that often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer. A new study conducted by the University at Buffalo has provided deeper insights to a unique method through which people could feel socially connected by eating comfort foods. Researchers suggested that a person's attraction to comfort foods was based on their relationship with the one who had first prepared the dish for them and they would eat it when they felt low or sad.
The study found that social factors influenced a person's choices and eating behavior and some of the participants defined comfort food as a healthy food choice, whereas for the others it was starchy and fatty.
Shira Gabriel, a UB psychologist, said, "As long as children had positive associations with the person who cooked the comfort food, they would be drawn to the food in times of isolation. As a threatened sense of belonging was related to mental and physical health risks it was important to learn how that vulnerability could be managed. Although comfort food would never break ones heart but might destroy a person's diet."
The study is published in the 'Appetite'