Researchers study how eating sweet foods affects personality.
Can your personality impact the foods you love to eat? Or can what snacks you reach for change people's perceptions of you? Perhaps, according to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Researchers looked at whether or not people who ate sweet foods were more likely to volunteer to help another person in need as compared to people who ate non-sweet foods or no food at all. Their results? People who preferred the sweet foods were more likely to help others, and others believed that someone who has a sweet tooth is more agreeable or helpful. The research controlled for positive mood, so the effects were not due to the happy or rewarding feeling one may have after eating a sweet food, researchers say.
“It is striking that helpful and friendly people are considered ‘sweet’ because taste would seem to have little in common with personality or behavior," Dr. Brian Meier, associate professor of psychology at Gettysburg College, told ScienceDaily. "Yet, recent psychological theories of embodied metaphor led us to hypothesize that seemingly innocuous metaphors can be used to derive novel insights about personality and behavior.”
The researchers aren't sure if the study would hold up in other cultures, but in the U.S. eating sweet is linked with being sweet. Funny, right? Can you think of someone in your life who has a sweet tooth and also has a sweet personality? Do you have a sweet tooth? Do tell!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.