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Comfort Food Psychology

Curry-Spiced Bloody Marys
Bon Appetit/Mitchell Feinberg
When it comes to comfort food, women are from Ben and Jerry's and men are from Outback.

In a study recently published in the medical journal Physiology and Behavior, researchers used the Web to survey 277 male and female participants.

They found that women are more prone to eat comfort foods high in fat and sugar, such as cakes and ice cream. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to turn to soups, pasta and steaks when seeking a comfort-food fix.

For the women responding to the survey, snuggling up with a tub of ice cream to wallow in their blues also comes with a hefty serving of guilt. But for men, indulging in a steak dinner serves as a reward when life is looking rosy.

The Cornell University professor who was lead author of the study says it shows that people can be re-educated so that comfort foods aren't always about negative emotions.
  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for