How food overconsumption has hijacked our notions about eating as a pleasurable activity

Author: Denise de Ridder1, Marleen Gillebaart2
1 Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Electronic address:
2 Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
Conference/Journal: Curr Opin Psychol
Date published: 2022 Feb 28
Other: Volume ID: 46 , Pages: 101324 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101324. , Word Count: 139

The negative effects of overconsumption of food have been extensively studied, with a focus on overweight and negative food attitudes. In this overview, we argue that this negative perspective has spilled over to food consumption in general, which is in contrast with eating as a pleasurable activity that contributes to people's well-being. We review four areas of research that have recently emerged: (de)moralization of food consumption, moderate eating for pleasure, intuitive and mindful eating, and the social benefits of eating. Throughout these four themes, it becomes clear that there needs to be a clear distinction between overconsumption of food, bearing negative consequences, and normal levels of food consumption. The latter is positively associated with enjoyment, contentment, and our social and psychological well-being.

Keywords: Food consumption; Intuitive eating; Mindful eating; Moderation; Moralization; Social sharing; Well-being.

PMID: 35339981 DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101324