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Comfort FoodMeanings and Memories$
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Michael Owen Jones and Lucy M. Long

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810847

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810847.001.0001

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“Stressed” Spelled Backwards Is “Desserts”: Self-Medicating Moods with Foods

“Stressed” Spelled Backwards Is “Desserts”: Self-Medicating Moods with Foods

(p.17) “Stressed” Spelled Backwards Is “Desserts”: Self-Medicating Moods with Foods
Comfort Food

Michael Owen Jones

University Press of Mississippi

Conventional wisdom, gift-giving, funerary customs, eating rituals, jokes, sayings, and other traditions often invoke linkages between moods and foods. This chapter considers differences in patterns of comfort food cravings and consumption related to gender, age, and other factors. It also reviews hypotheses about reasons for comfort eating, e.g., sensory properties of food, associations of food with particular people or events, pharmacological constituents of items, and physiological processes of counteracting stress-induced hormones. Perhaps sometimes we eat what we do because of “what’s eating us,” but a combination of influences seems more likely—one in which folklore and popular culture play a significant role that has not been adequately explored.

Keywords:   Popular culture, Sensory, Associations, Stress, Physiological

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