Can Your Meal Determine How You Feel?

As much as I love this class, I found myself struggling to stay awake in it recently I couldn’t understand why; being as though Andrew is so interesting. I told my mother and I thought maybe because it is my last class of the day and it is directly after I eat my lunch so I might have the “itis”(“The general feeling of lethargy and well-being experienced after eating a satisfying meal.”)says the Urban DictionaryMy mother said, “Maybe it’s not that you’re eating but more so WHAT you’re eating” and that made me wonder… Does food have an impact on your feelings? I believe that the answer is yes and more specifically, junk food causes negative behavior.

The common answer to my question is that junk food makes you fat and being fat makes you lazy- which are true. Even UCLA professor, Aaron Blaisdell, did a study using rats which focusing on that aspect, called “Does a Junk Food Diet Make You Lazy? UCLA psychology study offers answer”. Blaisdell used rats in his study to display how those overweight from being fed fattening food are now lethargic, having less energy. This is completely true, but those of you who are in decent shape and still have a problem concentrating after lunch, this may be why:

According to “Fit Day“, junk food does not have the proper nutrients to keep your body healthy and high amounts of sugar causes stress on your metabolism. “Fit Day” also says that because junk food contains bad carbohydrates and lacks enough protein, one’s blood sugar level will drop suddenly after eating, causing the feeling of grumpiness or fatigue. So when asked if junk food makes you lazy, the answer is yes and this explains why. Along with that, food influences the feelings of people-besides junk food and lethargic behavior.

In “Sources of Positive and Negative Emotions in Food Experience“, Pieter M. A. Desmet and Hendrik N. J. Schifferstein studied people and what emotion they associated with what foods. There were twenty-two emotion types, ranging from satisfaction to jealousy. There were more pleasant responses than negative but the negative emotions correlated with none other than JUNK FOOD. The emotions that were associated with junk food were shame and contempt- which makes sense. Mentally, one knows that junk food isn’t healthy therefore, when eating it one has the feeling of shame for doing so and contempt towards the food itself. None the less, food definitely causes different emotions and feelings within us all of the time- and junk food causes those feelings to be negative. And with that, stay healthy!

Picture from "Lose gene and lose the fat"- article from 3news

Picture from “Lose gene and lose the fat”- article from 3news


4 thoughts on “Can Your Meal Determine How You Feel?

  1. Madeline Bynres Walsack

    Personally, I think this is a topic that should be stressed more, especially to college students. We are all in a very stressful point in our lives, and most of us are also struggling financially. Often times, we choose a less healthy meal or snack over a healthy option purely because it costs less. But is feeling bad or tired worth it? It would be helpful if we could afford to be healthy, or if the food options in our dining halls were healthier and more nutritious for us. Imagine how much happier our campus would be with well fed students.

  2. Chane Jeter-Smith

    I am too shocked that feelings could be associated with what we consume during the day. I typically eat a junky foods but snack healthily for the most part. I do believe that the fullness after eating makes me tired as well (refering to the “itis”) in class. Now that I know that there is a connection to the food we eat and emotional balance I might be leaning toward a salad than a burger! I can say that nutrition is a big aspect to my life. I always keep up with all that is happening. I typically eat fruit before classes. I definitely recommend. It hasn’t let me down yet with energy!

  3. Marcella Santos

    I think what you eat is not 100% equivalent to correlation = causation because there can definitely be other variables that interfere with your mood but I do believe that this is true to an extent. Eating foods with nasty chemical and that is old can make you feel gross. I see this is very true when I eat a good healthy salad versus a meal at McDonald’s. The fast food makes your stomach feel fat and swollen. The food makes you tired as well compared to a healthy salad which makes you feel light and on your feet. Healthy foods also provide more energy and benefits which can rise one’s mood. This article ( emphasizes more on a scientific view point of what I just said. Check it out!

  4. Kaylen Kim

    I find it surprising that people associate negative emotions with junk food. When I eat junk food, I enjoy it to the fullest degree and feel satisfied when I’m finished. I thought others felt the same and would associate positive emotions with junk food. But I guess it makes sense that junk food, which is bad for our body, causes you to feel grumpy or fatigued.
    Now that you know that junk food will make you feel bad, here are some healthy foods that will boost your energy:
    Popcorn is a whole grain that’s rich in fiber in an easy to eat form. Just avoid putting too much salt or oil on it.
    Fruit satisfies your sweet cravings as well as provide vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
    Fish and shellfish are low in fat, rich in lean protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
    So the next time you have lunch before coming to class, maybe try grabbing a pack of sushi from the hub or a fruit cup; or if you need a snack, grab some microwave popcorn and pop away.

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