Preference for high/low calorie food dependant on mood, personality traits and perceived stress

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Authors
Wright, Benjamin James
Issue Date
2014
Degree
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
Objectives: To see if Mood (PANAS-X ‘sadness’ and ‘fatigue’), Personality traits (‘conscientiousness’ and ‘openness’) and Perceived Stress had an effect on preference for high calorie, fatty foods/low calorie, low fat foods. Method: Sixty participants aged between 18-49 were tested for scores on Mood, Personality and Perceived Stress scales which were then correlated with scores that participants gave when rating 24 food images of; 12 high calorie, fatty foods and 12 low calorie, low fat food images. Results: High scores for Sadness were related to higher rating scores for the high calorie, fatty food images (p = .002). Conclusions: Sadness is linked to a preference for high calorie, fatty foods. The negative affect of this mood (sadness) leads to a craving for the high calorie, fatty foods, which results in a higher rate of consumption of these types of food.
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