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C O N T I N U I N G P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E LO P M E N T

Food and mood nutrition focus

Food and mood 46-52


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Food and mood


NS59 Ottley C (2000) Food and mood. Nursing Standard. 15, 2, 46-52.
Date of acceptance: June 9 2000.

carbohydrates, alcohol, vitamins and minerals,


Aims and intended learning outcomes
or other components such as caffeine and
The aim of this article is to provide an overview theobromine, which are found in chocolate.
of current scientific understanding of how foods It is important to realise, however, that mood
and nutrients affect mood and behaviour. can also influence the decision to eat or drink
After reading this article you should be able to: and the choice of food and drink. After con-
■ Examine the evidence demonstrating that sumption of a particular food, a person’s expec-
in brief particular foods and nutrients have an effect tation of its effect on mood might influence his
on mood. or her belief of what, if any, effect has actually
Author ■ Appreciate the complex nature of food-mood occurred.
Carol Ottley BSc(Hons), SRD, inter-relationships and how they vary between
RPHNtr, is a freelance writer individuals.
on nutrition. The serotonin theory
■ Appreciate the impact of psychological factors
on mood and food consumption. One early theory (Fernstrom and Wurtman 1971)
Summary ■ Recognise that modifications to diet, physical suggested that the consumption of carbohy-
A number of specific activity and attitudes to food can be managed drate alters the balance of amino acids in the
nutrients and other active to help improve mood. blood, which in turn causes an increase in sero-
substances in foods are tonin, a chemical in the brain. Serotonin has a
thought to have a direct number of important functions, including the
Introduction
impact on mood. Carol regulation of sleep, appetite and impulse con-
Ottley explores the evidence It is commonly believed that what we eat and trol. It also has a key role in the elevation of
linking food with aspects of drink has an impact on our moods. As moods, in mood, so if carbohydrates can boost serotonin
mood and behaviour. Areas turn, are linked to behaviour and mental and levels they might improve mood.
covered include premenstrual physical performance, it is important to deter- Wurtman and Wurtman (1989) went on to
syndrome, chocolate craving, mine whether these food-mood relationships are develop the theory and argued that carbohy-
mood swings, and how we real or imagined. drates might help to relieve depression. It has
eat in relation to specific Although still relatively poorly understood, there also been proposed that people suffering from
mood states such as fear, is increasing scientific evidence that explores some seasonal affective disorder (SAD or the ‘winter
happiness and anxiety. of these food and mood interactions. This blues’) and premenstrual syndrome might have
evidence helps to identify where food has a true low serotonin function, which makes them feel
Keywords physiological impact on mood state. It is also low. People suffering from these ailments often
■ Emotions helpful to understand how these relationships are report a craving for carbohydrates and it is
■ Nutrition and diet mediated by psychological factors. suggested that this is the body’s attempt to
self-medicate (Wurtman and Wurtman 1989).
These key words are based However, there is a flaw in the carbohydrate
How does food influence mood?
on the subject headings from and serotonin theory, which was highlighted in
the British Nursing Index. The underlying principle is that substances in a recent review by Benton and Donohoe (1999).
This article has been subject foods interact with the body’s chemistry to exert a More than 30 human studies were examined to
to double-blind review. change in mood. The active ingredients in the determine the amino acid profile in the blood
food might be the nutrients themselves, principally after consuming meals varying in carbohydrate

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Food and mood

content. It was found that only when the the sexes in the attitudes and emotions related
protein component of the meal was less than to this behaviour. Men who report food cravings
2 per cent did the resulting amino acid profile typically interpret them as being initiated by
favour a rise in serotonin levels in the brain. hunger, whereas women are more likely to link
Benton and Donohoe (1999) highlight that cravings with negative moods, stress and bore-
even in foods considered to be high in carbohy- dom. Negative feelings, such as guilt and
drate, such as bread and potatoes, 15 per cent remorse following indulgence in the craved
and 10 per cent of calories respectively come foods, also appear more frequently in women
from protein. This means that there are very few (Macdiarmid and Hetherington 1995). Often, a
instances when the level of carbohydrate in a craved food is a ‘forbidden’ food, such as choco-
meal is high enough to have a direct impact on late, which probably contributes to women
serotonin levels. labelling themselves as addicts or chocoholics.
Carbohydrate craving itself is a misnomer.
Foods that are commonly craved, particularly by TIME OUT 1
women (Drewnowski et al 1994), are chocolate,
Why is chocolate such a
ice cream, doughnuts, cakes and biscuits. These
commonly craved food and is
foods all taste sweet and so are perceived as
there such a thing as a
being rich in sugar – a carbohydrate. But, in fact, chocoholic?
most of the calories from these foods are actu-
ally provided by fat. In addition, these foods all
contain enough protein to negate any effect of
Is chocolate addictive?
carbohydrate on brain serotonin. For example,
about 8 per cent of calories in ice cream and Gibson and Desmond (1999) have summarised
about 5 per cent in chocolate are from protein. the evidence relating to whether psychoactive
So there must be another reason why these substances in chocolate create a true drug-like
foods are commonly craved. addiction. Cocoa contains a number of poten-
tially psychoactive chemicals:
■ Anandamides, which act at the same site in
The pleasure principle
the brain as cannabis.
Pleasure plays a significant role in determining ■ Tyramine and phenylethylamine, which act in
food choice, as people tend to consume foods a similar manner to amphetamine.
they enjoy eating and avoid those they don’t. ■ Theobromine and caffeine, which are both
However, pleasure is not a simple or universally known to have stimulant properties.
agreed property of a food, but an interplay For these chemicals to create an addiction, they
between the individual’s current physiological would need to be present in doses shown to have
needs, such as hunger level, previous experience a pharmacological effect. However, these sub-
of eating a particular food, and the food’s stances are present at low concentrations in
sensory properties. chocolate. For example, it has been shown that
The pleasure of eating could be enhanced by 2 to 3g of phenylethylamine is needed to have an
opioids such as β-endorphins, which are antidepressant effect, but a 50g bar of chocolate
released in the body as the food is eaten. Drugs contains only a third of a milligram (BNF 1998).
that mimic opioids, such as morphine, have been Some of the chemicals in chocolate are also
shown to increase food intake, whereas drugs present in other foods at similar or higher doses.
such as naloxone, which block opioid receptors, For example, tyramine is present in larger doses
reduce food intake (Drewnowski et al 1994). in cheese, yeast extract and pickled herrings, yet
Perhaps craving for highly desirable foods is these are not regularly described as craved foods
simply down to the pursuit of pleasure. Eating (Gibson and Desmond 1999).
foods we enjoy is likely to improve mood, just as Michener and Rozin carried out a classic study
doing anything we enjoy is likely to cheer us up. in 1994, which clearly demonstrated that choco-
late craving is due to sensory factors rather than
the presence of pharmacologically active sub-
The effects of cravings
stances. Participants were given a series of boxes
A food craving can be described as an urge to that contained milk chocolate, white chocolate,
eat a particular food. Cravings appear to be cocoa powder capsules or white chocolate with
commonplace and at least 60 per cent of people cocoa. When the participants experienced a
report that they experience them (Gibson and chocolate craving, they opened a box and ate the
Desmond 1999). There are differences between contents. If the chemicals in cocoa are responsible

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Food and mood

for chocolate craving, the consumption of pure accompanied by feelings of tiredness, low mood
Table 1. Glycaemic index of
cocoa should alleviate the craving. and possibly even dizziness and shaking. These
selected foods
It was found that milk chocolate satisfied the lows are often suffered in the mid-morning or
Food Glycaemic craving, whereas white chocolate was not so mid-afternoon.
index* effective. Adding cocoa to white chocolate did Although many people report these symp-
not make any difference and cocoa powder was toms, they are very rarely associated with low
Glucose 138 not effective at all. White chocolate provides the blood sugar levels except in people with
Cornflakes 119 texture but not the full taste of milk chocolate. diabetes who are taking medication (Williams,
Chips 107 It seems, therefore, that chocolate craving is personal communication). Under normal circum-
White bread 100 down to the pleasure principle – people want its stances, blood sugar levels are kept under
Mashed potatoes 100 unique taste and feel in the mouth. tight control by hormones such as insulin
Wholemeal bread 99 and glucagon. However, symptoms similar to
Shredded wheat 99 those of hypoglycaemia can be induced by stress,
Porridge 87 Premenstrual cravings
particularly hyperventilation or over-breathing.
Cakes 87
There is good evidence that food intake varies Many people who suffer hyperventilation are
Sugar (sucrose) 87
throughout the menstrual cycle in most women. unaware that their breathing pattern has
Chocolate 84
Banana 83 Vlitos and Davies (1996) reviewed the studies changed, but this can be enough to change
White rice 81 examining the amount and types of food con- blood chemistry and cause a variety of distressing
Muesli 80 sumed at different phases of the menstrual symptoms. These symptoms are related to
Boiled potatoes 80 cycle. They found that studies reported an stress and anxiety in many cases, and normally
Popcorn 79 increase in calorie intake premenstrually. These clear up when the cause is recognised and
Brown rice 79 increases ranged between 4 and 35 per cent treated.
Sweetcorn 78 above the amount of calories consumed post- Although it is perceived that sugar(sucrose)-
Orange juice 74 menstruation, with the lowest calorie intake rich foods have the greatest impact on blood
White spaghetti 59 being around the time of ovulation. sugar levels, this is not the case. The glycaemic
Brown spaghetti 53
Other studies have examined basal metabolic index (GI) is used to assess the blood glucose
Apple 52
rate (BMR) throughout the menstrual cycle. It response of a food. GI cannot be predicted
Lentils 38
Fructose 32 has been demonstrated that BMR rises premen- based on whether the carbohydrate is in the
Soya beans 23 strually and drops around the time of ovulation form of starch or sugar (Table 1). In fact, sucrose
Peanuts 21 (Bisdee et al 1989). Women are often aware of (table sugar) has a lower GI than either white or
an increased premenstrual appetite and it wholemeal bread. The form of the food is
*Glycaemic index is the appears that this is partly in response to important, however. Foods where the starch is
impact that a food has on increased energy expenditure at that time. less available for digestion, such as pasta, are
blood glucose levels relative to Apart from an increased appetite, cravings, absorbed more slowly than bread. Similarly, fat
the effect of white bread particularly for sweet foods, are also reported to slows down the absorption of carbohydrate,
be more common premenstrually. Studies exam- which is why chocolate has a lower GI than pure
(Food and Agriculture
ining food intake have found that, although sugar or potatoes.
Organisation/World Health
there is an increase in carbohydrate consump-
Organization 1998)
tion, there is also an increase in fat and protein TIME OUT 3
intake (Vlitos and Davies 1996). In other words,
Using reference material,
carbohydrate intake does not increase dispro-
explain the mechanism
portionately to other nutrients. Barr et al (1995) behind the control of blood
suggest that the cravings represent appetite, sugar levels and how levels are
rather than a specific craving for carbohydrate. controlled when food is eaten.

TIME OUT 2
What explanation and advice
Carbohydrate and alertness
would you give to female
patients asking about A recent major review of the effects of
premenstrual cravings for sweet carbohydrate-rich meals and drinks on mood and
foods? alertness (Reid and Hammersley 1999) examined
the results of all human studies since 1983. Half
of the studies reported some evidence that
Mid-morning blues
carbohydrate had an effect on alertness. Most of
Many people believe that eating sugar-rich these studies found that consuming carbohy-
foods causes a ‘rush’ in blood sugar, which is drate made people more sleepy and relaxed.
followed by a fall in blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), In contrast, the other studies found no specific

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Food and mood

effects of carbohydrate on moods. For example, TIME OUT 4


where subjects were given drinks containing
pure carbohydrate in the form of sucrose Which foods are rich in
(sugar), compared with drinks containing aspar- carbohydrate and how would
tame, no effects on mood were reported. In you encourage their
studies examining the impact of meals, a general consumption in someone who
reduction in alertness was reported after eating believes they are fattening?
lunch, but there was no difference between the
high protein and high carbohydrate versions.
Reid and Hammersley (1999) offered some
Caffeine: a psychoactive drug
suggestions as to why the results of such studies
are so diverse: Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance that
■ Most studies into the effects of meals on alert- has been identified in coffee beans, cocoa beans
ness are carried out at lunchtime. Alertness and tea leaves. Levels of caffeine are highest in
levels tend to fall in the early afternoon, coffee, but there is a significant amount in tea.
regardless of what is eaten at lunchtime, due The amount of caffeine added to drinks such as
to natural circadian rhythms. colas and ‘pep-up’ drinks varies according to the
■ It is likely that the effects of carbohydrate are manufacturer.
subtle and that some people are more sensi- It is commonly believed that caffeine has a
tive to them than others. stimulant effect and there are many studies that
■ Eating specific foods might affect how partic- demonstrate this. For example, caffeine has
ipants rate their feelings independently of any been found to enhance vigilance, increase alert-
physiological changes. For example, people ness and improve mood and reaction time
might feel depressed after a fatty meal simply (Fagan et al 1988, Frewer and Lader 1991).
because they expect to. However, most of these studies have used par-
ticipants with a history of caffeine consumption.
Therefore, after being deprived of caffeine
Emotions
overnight, the positive effects reported might
It is considered that emotions are intense feel- simply be due to the relief of withdrawal, rather
ings that last up to a few hours (Oatley 1992), than to a true beneficial effect (Rogers and
whereas moods are less intense but generally Dernoncourt 1998).
last longer. For example, when experiencing the It could be that pre-existing differences in per-
emotion of sadness, feelings can be so intense sonality determine caffeine use. For example,
that it might be impossible to function normally. people who find it hard to wake up in the morn-
However, when experiencing a sad mood, it ing might have learnt that caffeine increases
might be possible to function relatively normally their alertness and energy levels at this time,
and only consciously think about being sad whereas other people avoid caffeine because it
intermittently. If moods are relatively long last- is over-stimulating or is irritating to the stomach.
ing, perhaps longer term studies would give a Even if the benefits of caffeine are, in fact, the
better insight. reversal of withdrawal, many of the population
In 1987, de Castro asked participants in a study are regular caffeine consumers and so the ‘hit’
to keep diet diaries for nine days. He calculated of caffeine has a real effect on their day-to-day
the proportion of calories obtained from mood. The negative effects, such as headaches,
carbohydrate and found that a higher carbohy- fatigue and depressed mood, when caffeine is
drate intake was associated with feeling less denied to regular coffee drinkers are now
depressed and more energetic. Other studies believed to be the effects of withdrawal. These
have supported this finding. For example, when effects should be borne in mind by anyone
high, medium and low carbohydrate diets were attempting to give up caffeine drinks. However,
followed for seven days, the low carbohydrate all symptoms disappear after about two weeks
diet was linked to increased feelings of anger, (Rogers and Dernoncourt 1998).
depression and tension (Keith et al 1991). When
a high protein, low carbohydrate breakfast was
Alcohol and mental health
given for three weeks, there were increased
reports of anger (Deijen et al 1989). This sug- It is well known that alcohol intoxication has a
gests that high carbohydrate diets might have a profound effect on mood and behaviour.
general beneficial effect on mood. However, the Similarly, there is no doubt that excessive drink-
mechanism remains obscure. ing can harm mental health, but there is some

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Food and mood

evidence that light or moderate drinking could appetite and do not eat properly, and anti-
actually be beneficial. convulsant drugs, such as phenytoin, inhibit
Chick (1999) has reviewed the available evi- folate absorption.
dence and found that 13 out of 16 population
studies associated light or moderate drinking
Thiamine
with better emotional wellbeing and social
adjustment. Table 2 provides a definition of Benton and Donohoe (1999) outlined a number
drinking habits. It is not clear, however, if these of studies showing that a poor thiamine status
studies demonstrate cause or effect. For example, (but not necessarily a clinical deficiency) might
it could be that the social opportunities linked to be linked to negative mood states. For example:
light drinking provide the emotional benefits, ■ Poor thiamine status was linked with intro-
rather than the alcohol itself. A few studies version, inactivity, fatigue and decreased self-
carried out in institutions for older people have confidence in young adult males.
found that light drinking associated with social ■ Taking daily supplements of 10mg of
activity is beneficial (Becker and Cesar 1973, thiamine for six weeks was associated with
Mishara et al 1975). In the same way, going to greater feelings of wellbeing and less fatigue
the pub provides an opportunity to socialise, in a group of older females who had poor
which often improves mood. thiamine status to start with.
A review of the literature on drinking and cogni- ■ An improvement in thiamine status in young
tive ability (Parsons 1998) concluded that there is adult females was associated with reports of
a safe threshold of about 21 or 28 units of alcohol being more clearheaded and energetic.
per week for women and men respectively (3 or 4 However, thiamine deficiency is so rare in the UK
units per day), after which is a continuum of population that it is unlikely to be an important
decline. One unit of alcohol is found in a small determinant of mood. It is, however, responsible
glass of wine, one measure of spirits or half a pint for the severe psychological effects of Wernicke-
of lager. People drinking five or six units a day Korsakoff’s syndrome seen in some alcoholics.
were found to have some cognitive inefficiencies,
those drinking seven to nine units a day showed
Iron and lethargy
mild cognitive deficits, and more that ten units a
day led to cognitive deficits equivalent to those Iron deficiency is one of the most common
found in diagnosed alcoholics. deficiencies in the developed and developing
worlds. In 1990, a study found that 4 per cent
of British women had haemoglobin levels below
Folic acid
11g/dl, the level used to indicate anaemia
The importance of folic acid has hit the head- (MAFF/DoH 1990). Another study in 1995 found
lines recently in relation to the prevention of that one in 12 of a nationally representative
neural tube defects, but it also has an important sample of pre-school children were anaemic
role in the brain. Young (1993) reviewed a (MAFF/DoH 1995).
number of studies, which show that folic acid It is well documented that anaemia results in
deficiency is linked to depressed mood, and feelings of fatigue, apathy and depressed mood.
that these symptoms can be present in the It has also been suggested that a low iron status
absence of serious deficiency. A study carried without frank anaemia might contribute to feel-
out by Coppen et al (1986) treated patients ings of anxiety and depression (Rangan et al
who were on long-term antidepressants with 1998). The tiredness resulting from a low iron
folic acid or placebo. After one year, those with status could also decrease the motivation for
the highest folate levels showed a significant exercise (Benton and Donohoe 1999), depress-
improvement in their disorders. It is thought that ing mood still further.
folate also exerts mood-raising effects via sero-
tonin, although the mechanism is unknown. TIME OUT 5
Although deficiencies in vitamins such as folic Using reference material, give
acid are rare in the general population, they can examples of foods that might
occur in people with disordered eating habits. be recommended for
Psychiatric patients are particularly prone to someone with iron deficiency
folate deficiency and it is estimated that between anaemia. What foods/nutrients will
one half and one third suffer from this problem increase the uptake of iron? What might
decrease iron uptake if consumed at the
(Carney 1990). People suffering from depression,
same time as iron-containing foods?
dementia and schizophrenia commonly lose their

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Effect of mood on food intake Table 2. Definition of drinking habits


As well as the view that certain foods and their
constituents could have an effect on mood, Number of standard drinks Grams of alcohol
there is also evidence that mood states them-
selves have an impact on the amount and types Light drinking Between 1 and 7 a week Up to 70g
of foods eaten. In a recent study carried out
Moderate drinking 7-28 drinks/week for men 70-280g for men
by Macht (1999), 107 female and 103 male
7-21 drinks/week for women 70-210g for women
participants were asked to report how various with no heavy sessions
characteristics of eating changed with emotions
of anger, fear, sadness and joy. Heavy drinking More than 5 or 6 drinks/day Over 65g per day
This study found that hunger was rated as and/or heavy drinking sessions (400g or more/week)
higher during feelings of anger and joy than (Chick 1999)
during fear and sadness. Anger increased com-
fort and impulsive eating, whereas feelings of
joy increased eating for pleasure. situation in which it is consumed (Booth 1994).
In Macht’s study (1999), individual characteris- Past experience of the physiological effect of
tics such as dietary restraint (the level to which consuming a particular food or drink can also
food consumption is consciously restrained), have an impact on food choice and rated mood
body mass index (weight relative to height) and after consumption. This expectation can be
gender were taken into account and were found strong enough to induce the effect. For exam-
to have less impact on food consumption than ple, someone might expect to feel more alert
the emotional states themselves. However, Macht after consuming a cup of coffee, so might do so
suggests that for people with eating disorders, even if the coffee is decaffeinated (Flaten and
anger might be a trigger for binge eating. Blumenthal 1999).
Therefore, binge eating therapy should perhaps
include helping people cope with frustration
Complex interactions
and anger in ways other than eating.
It is clear that substances in our food have a real
impact on body chemistry. These effects are
How psychology intervenes
different in different people. This is clearly
Emotions and moods are affected by physiological demonstrated in the case of caffeine: some
and cognitive factors. Cognitive factors will people find it to be beneficial, whereas others
often override physiology, and the same applies cannot tolerate its stimulating effects. Similarly,
to mood. For example, if a group of dieters are Reid and Hammersley (1999) predict that the
asked to consume a high calorie food during the effects of carbohydrate will vary from person
course of an experiment, this might trigger to person.
anxiety and other negative emotions because of Apart from hunger, a whole range of factors
the perceived fattening nature of the food. This affect a person’s food choices. These include
means that any true effects of the nutrients social and cultural norms, previous exposure to
in the food would be masked (Reid and certain foods, taste and pleasure. All of these
Hammersley 1999). are also linked to moods and emotions, so it is
Learned factors are also likely to influence an extremely complex process to identify how
mood in everyday life. Prized or palatable foods food influences mood or vice versa.
are likely to elevate mood, regardless of their The impact of thoughts and expectations relat-
nutrient composition. It has also been suggested ing to food cannot be underestimated. These
that eating certain foods unconsciously triggers thoughts have the ability to override any true
emotions and moods associated with its con- physiological effects, but equally they might also
sumption. It has been found that even the smell enhance them.
of a particular food can stimulate intense emo-
tional experiences (Tryg 1982). TIME OUT 6
It is also believed that the situation in which a
Give appropriate methods of
food or drink is consumed has an important
increasing physical activity
effect. This could be because the psychological levels in sedentary individuals
impact is only desirable under certain circum- suffering from mild, non-clinical
stances. For example, behaviour after alcohol depression.
consumption is readily affected by the social

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REFERENCES
Barr SI et al (1995) Energy intakes are There is some evidence to suggest that diets
Positive thoughts
higher during the luteal phase of rich in carbohydrates have a general beneficial
ovulatory menstrual cycles. American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 61, 1, 39-43. There are a number of potential ways in which it effect on mood (Benton and Donohoe 1999).
Becker PW, Cesar JA (1973) Use of beer might be possible to minimise the negative and This provides another good reason to promote
in geriatric, psychiatric patient groups.
Psychological Reports. 33, 1, 182.
maximise the positive effects of food on mood. high carbohydrate diets to patients. Other
Benton D, Donohoe RT (1999) The Food provides pleasure through its taste and aspects of a healthy lifestyle might also be
effects of nutrients on mood. Public other sensory properties and this can improve important, particularly physical activity.
Health Nutrition. 2, 3a, 403-409.
Bisdee JT et al (1989) Changes in energy mood and feelings of satisfaction. However, if There is good evidence (Fox 1999) that exer-
expenditure during the menstrual consumption of pleasurable foods gets out of cise is effective in improving people’s mental
cycle. British Journal of Nutrition.
61, 2, 187-199. control, feelings of guilt and related negative wellbeing, largely through improved mood
Booth DA (1994) Psychology of Nutrition. mood states can result. The best strategy is to and self-esteem. Indeed, it has been found
London, Taylor and Francis.
British Nutrition Foundation (1998) BNF manage the intake of favourite or craved foods that moderate levels of physical activity can be
conference report. Stimulating to maximise the pleasure they provide without as effective as psychotherapy in reducing
thoughts: caffeine and food. BNF
Nutrition Bulletin. 23, Winter, 226-233.
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Carney MW (1990) Vitamin deficiency In a recent study by Gibson and Desmond
and mental symptoms. British Journal
(1999), participants were trained to eat choco-
of Psychiatry. 156, 878-882. Conclusion
Chick J (1999) Can light or moderate late either when hungry or when full over a
drinking benefit mental health? two-week period. Chocolate craving was found It is clear that food does have a real effect on
European Addiction Research.
5, 2, 74-81. to increase in those trained to eat chocolate how we feel, but for the most part, in a very
Coppen A et al (1986) Folic acid when hungry. Conversely, chocolate craving was subtle and complex way that is essentially medi-
enhances lithium prophylaxis. Journal
of Affective Disorders. 10, 1, 9-13. reduced in those who only ate chocolate when ated by psychological factors. This complexity
de Castro JM (1987) Macronutrient full (after a meal). The authors suggest that their contrasts strongly with popular beliefs that par-
relationships with meal patterns and
mood in spontaneous feeling
findings could be used to help people control ticular foods have a dramatic impact on moods
behaviour of humans. Physiology & their appetites for highly desirable foods, by and behaviour.
Behaviour. 39, 5, 561-569.
Deijen JB et al (1989) Dietary effects on
including them in measured amounts with meals Although deficiencies of certain vitamins and
mood and performance. Journal of and avoiding them when hungry. minerals can depress mood, other negative effects
Psychiatric Research. 23, 3-4, 275-283. As emotions occur independently of foods, it is that are attributed to food constituents are more
Drewnowski A et al (1994) Food
preferences in human obesity; useful to diagnose when there is a true link with likely to occur for other reasons. However, the
carbohydrates versus fats. Appetite. food consumption and when the food is being beneficial effects of physical activity on mood
18, 207-221.
Fagan D et al (1988) Effects of caffeine used to explain an underlying problem. For are irrefutable. So the current advice to eat a
on vigilance and other performance example, the symptoms ascribed to hypogly- well-balanced, high carbohydrate diet and take
tests in normal subjects. Journal of
Psychopharmacology. 2, 19-25. caemia are probably caused by stress or anxiety regular exercise is likely to make us feel good
Fernstrom JD, Wurtman RJ (1971) Brain rather than food. Once recognised, steps can emotionally as well as physically
serotonin content: increase following
ingestion of carbohydrate diet.
then be taken to treat the underlying problem.
Science. 174, 13, 1023-1025. For some patients, particularly psychiatric TIME OUT 7
Flaten MA, Blumenthal TD (1999) patients and those with eating disorders, it
Caffeine-associated stimuli elicit Now that you have
conditioned responses: an experimental might be worth checking for poor folate status,
model of the placebo effect. completed the article, you
which could be contributing to negative mood
Psychopharmacology. 145, 105-112. might like to think about
Food and Agriculture Organisation/World states. Marginal intakes of thiamine and iron writing a practice profile.
Health Organization (1998) might also be present in those with poor eating
Carbohydrates in Human Nutrition. Guidelines to help you write and
FAO nutrition paper 66, Rome. habits. Foods rich in these nutrients could be submit a profile are outlined on page 55.
Fox KR (1999) The influence of physical promoted.
activity on mental wellbeing. Public
Health Nutrition. 2, 3a, 411-418. Macht M (1999) Characteristics of Cambridge University Press. Biochemistry and Behaviour.
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