Harnessing Healthy Stress Eating to Reduce Disparities

The research team is conducting a randomized controlled trial to determine if “comfort eating” actually does reduce stress; and, if so, if eating healthy food can produce the same stress-relieving effects as eating less healthy foods. This is the first randomized, controlled experiment testing the causal effects of comfort eating on physiological stress markers. Results could inform the design of nutrition interventions for chronically stressed individuals and families.

Outcomes & Methodology

Randomized controlled experimental design in which piecewise multilevel growth curve modeling will be used to analyze mood, rumination, physiology (impedance cardiography, electrodermal activity, respiration, heart rate), and cortisol levels. The PROCESS statistical macro will be used to investigate the variables of global perceived stress, comfort eating expectations, and self-reported feelings of guilt.

Three containers of vegetables
Grant status
Principal investigators
A. Janet Tomiyama, PhD
Start date
Award amount
24 months

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