Scientists Discover Hedonic Hunger

I have just come across an article in the Vancouver Sun which has pulled a few things together in my mind.  More on these later but first the article.

Scientists have discovered that we eat for two reasons: to gain energy and to make us happy, eating they have labelled “hedonic”.  There is no link to the original research but it is a fair bet that this was funded research.  It is also a fair bet, in my opinion, that this is not a surprise to many people even if it does fill column inches.

There may be more to the research than has been reported however hedonic or emotional eating is very well known.  Many of us have found ourselves in the kitchen nibbling for no better reason than being sad, angry, emotional, happy……   Clearing away the dishes leads to surreptitiously finishing off the leftovers, particularly for those of us who were made to finish our food as children.

When I worked as a hypnotherapist I worked with many people who reported hoovering up food in the kitchen as an emotional reaction to events in their day.  People who couldn’t eat just one biscuit, one chocolate or walk past the cake.  People who insisted that if crisps were in the house then they had to be eaten and  also insisted that they had to buy the crisps for others in the house.

Recently I have found myself wondering if my experiences as a hypnotherapist can have any bearing on my current work, lecturing or writing a blog about grain intolerance.

A trip to my local library this morning turned up a book which I must have passed many times before as it has been on and off the shelves in Cheddar for over two years but this time I noticed and borrowed it. Called “cooking without made easy” the book was written by Barbara Cousins who is a nutritional therapist who works by addressing clients’ emotional problems at the same time as identifying food intolerances to provide a more holistic approach to therapy.

The book and the Vancouver Sun article have serendipitously shed some light on the question of whether past hypnotherapy experience can influence my work today but if all the research showed was that people eat to make themselves happy – I could have told them that for less money!

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