Authors' Note: Jay Kandiah, PhD, RD, CD, is a professor of nutrition and dietetics in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Ball State University. Melissa Yake, MS, RD, CD, is a registered dietitian. Heather Willett, BS, is pursuing a master's degree in dietetics at Ball State University.
Effects of Stress on Eating Practices Among Adults
Version of Record online: 2 JUL 2009
2008 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 27–38, September 2008
How to Cite
Kandiah, J., Yake, M. and Willett, H. (2008), Effects of Stress on Eating Practices Among Adults. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 37: 27–38. doi: 10.1177/1077727X08322148
- Issue online: 2 JUL 2009
- Version of Record online: 2 JUL 2009
- food intake;
- comfort foods
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between comfort food preferences of adults when under normal (nonstressful) and stressful conditions. A total of 185 university faculty completed on InQsit, a 31-item Stress-Eating Survey. Sixty-seven percent experienced changes in appetite when stressed, with 69% having an increase in appetite and 31% a decrease. Under stressful conditions, participants chose a wider variety of sweet (p ≤ .001) and salty/crunchy foods (p = .004). High-restrained eaters chose significantly more types of sweet foods (p = .031) and beverages (p = .020) than low-restrained eaters. Variety of mixed dishes significantly decreased (p = .048) with increased age. This research suggests that majority of adults may experience an increased appetite with stress and may choose more types of sweet and salty/crunchy foods. Under normal and stressful conditions, it appears that gender, age, and restraint level may also influence comfort food choices.