To avoid food urges, science has found an effective (and pleasant) way

To avoid food urges, science has found an effective (and pleasant) way

Do you regularly have food urges, which push you to snack throughout the day? To help combat these stress-induced cravings, scientists say calling a friend can help. Explanations.

Do you know the famous “call a friend”, the joker that you can use in a famous game show to get help from a loved one when you stumble on a question? Here the principle is the same, but to fight against a food urge.

The positive effect of friendly support against food urges

In this new study, scientists looked at a group of 138 young adults and their food urges. They were randomly divided into four groups, each with specific support.

  • The first group received support from a friend;
  • The second group support from a stranger;
  • The third group benefited from instructions to achieve self-regulation;
  • And the fourth group served as a control group.

The study was then launched and took place in several stages. The first was an assessment of each volunteer's stress, hunger and emotional state.

Then, each participant was subjected to a stressful test, namely preparing a text and having to speak in public. Finally, after this test, participants were invited to benefit from support, depending on the group to which they had been initially assigned. At the end of this series of steps, the volunteers were invited to choose foods that were more or less high in calories.

NO to diets, YES to WW!

Support from a friend is most effective

Results: Participants who received support from a friend rated their stress levels as lowest. As a result, they chose smaller portions of rich foods compared to the other groups.

This study provides valuable information for the development of therapeutic interventions for clinical eating disorders.” write the researchers. To support their results, they recommend repeating the experiment, on a larger sample. However, they already believe that “rReceiving social support from friends can alleviate emotional and eating problems, which in turn can prevent certain conditions, such as obesity and eating disorders.