Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who needs friends when you've got comfort food?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM

This is a bowl of friendship.
  • This is a bowl of friendship.

When you get older and feel lonely, you can't just line up your dolls and throw a tea party. But you can apparently make a meatloaf or a big bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Upi.com reports that a new study from Jordan Troisi, a graduate student at the University of Buffalo, and co-author Shira Gabriel suggests that "comfort food" may be able to overcome feelings of loneliness.

In the study, research subjects wrote about a fight with someone close to them. After six minutes, the participants were then asked to write about eating a new food or about a dish they found comforting. Those who wrote about home-cooked meals or familiar foods reported lower levels of loneliness. It was the transitive property at work. People thought about comfort foods and the people they associated with those foods, and then the comfort they got from those people. The study's author explains:

"Throughout everyone's daily lives, they experience stress, often associated with our connections with others," Troisi says in a statement. "Comfort food can serve as a ready-made, easy resource for remedying a sense of loneliness."
Macaroni and cheese can also help you win a few new friends online. Kraft launched an innovative new ad series yesterday to turn tweets about macaroni and cheese into commercials within 24 hours. You can see the first results on the company's Facebook page and dream of all the fellow mac-and-cheese lovers you might meet through Twitter.

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