No calorie comfort: Viewing and drawing "comfort foods" similarly augment positive mood for those with depression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Based on behavioral and neurobiological data, we tested the hypothesis that viewing/drawing visual images of comfort foods in the absence of eating will increase positive mood and that this effect is augmented for those with clinical symptoms of depression. A counterbalanced design was used for 60 participants with and without clinical symptoms in two variations: food image and food art. In each variation, participants viewed/drew foods high or low in fat/sugar; pre-post mood was recorded. Results show a consistent pattern: viewing/drawing comfort foods [food image (95% confidence interval): 2.72-4.85; food art (95% confidence interval): 2.65-4.62] and fruits [food image (95% confidence interval): 1.20-2.23; food art (95% confidence interval): 1.51-2.56] enhanced mood. For comfort foods, mood was augmented for those with clinical symptoms of depression [food image (95% confidence interval): 0.95-3.59; food art (95% confidence interval): 0.97-3.46]. Findings corroborate previous data and reveal a novel finding of augmented mood increases for those with clinical symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Privitera, GJ; Welling, D; Tejada, G; Sweazy, N; Cuifolo, KN; King-Shepard, QW; Doraiswamy, PM

Published Date

  • March 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 598 - 607

PubMed ID

  • 27956477

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1359105316681861


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England