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Emotional Eating Following A Breakup Doesn’t Lead To Weight Gain, Finds New Study

That scene in the movies in which the heroin snacks on ice-cream after a breakup is true to reality. Several people resort to emotional eating to lessen the sorrow that comes with a split. Does this emotional eating cause weight gain? Thankfully, no.

A new research work has found that emotional eating from a bad breakup doesn’t make you pack on more pounds. Researchers from the Penn State university have conducted this study. And, The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium has published it.

Comparing Modern Day Emotional Eating To Food Hoarding Of Ancient Times

Scientists carried out this study to learn more about the effects of kummerspeck. Kummerspeck is a German concept that translates in English to “grief bacon.” It means to rely on food for feeling better after the emotional impact of a breakup.

The team of researchers said that it made more sense why our ancestors hoarded food after separating with their partner. They did so because finding food was tough and on their own, they had to hoard food for it to be available. Emotional eating after a breakup in the modern day may be a habit that has grown out of ancient behavior.

Emotional eating also has a scientific background. People tend to eat more under stress which comes from a breakup. This eating is not healthy; it’s unnecessary and typically of unhealthy food choices. In the past putting on weight after food hoarding may have helped bulk up the otherwise small females so that they could protect themselves.

Part of the study, Marissa Harrison said, “If their partner left or abandoned them, they would be in trouble. And the same could have gone for men. With food not as plentiful in the ancestral world, it may have made sense for people to gorge to pack on the pounds.” However, today people have easy access to resources which wasn’t the case back then.

kummerspeck doesn’t lead to weight gain

Surprisingly, this study found that unhealthy emotional eating after splitting with your partner doesn’t cause weight gain. For the purpose of reaching results, scientists conducted two studies. The first one included 581 people who were surveyed on the topic. The majority, 62.7% of people, said that they didn’t notice any change in their weight.

The interesting finding led to another study. In this one, researches had 261 participants on board. These people also participated in a survey, albeit a more extensive one. 65.13% of participants said that they didn’t gain weight as the result of emotional eating after a breakup.

This study also found that women who already were inclined toward emotional eating did put on weight after a breakup. However, this too was not common. Researchers said this study could help professionals. They could offer extra support to patients who have undergone a breakup and already have a tendency to emotionally eat.