Mood is a feeling that people have at any given time and it can be influenced by many factors. One of these factors is the food we eat. Food that is served and eaten by people may arouse some specific human senses which ultimately end up influencing/affecting their mood. The sense that is influenced by food and can strongly affect people’s mood is that of smell. Even before the food is served people can smell how it smells and this is likely to affect their mind hence the mood changes accordingly. Good smelling food is likely to bring about a good mood where as awful smelling food may destroy one’s day by affecting his/her mood negatively.
Sight of the food which is basically portrayed in the form of the colors of the food can also affect the people’s mood. When people eat food with their favourite colours they are more likely to be happy and this enhances their mood. On the reverse food which has dull colors for those who like bright coloured food tend to get bad moods from eating the experience. The color of food when it’s being cooked as well as its presentation can affect one’s mood in either negative or positive ways (John Fuller, 67). The taste of food can also influence one’s mood. Taste buds are connected with mind which determines our feelings i. e. mood at any given time.
When the taste buds sense a good smell information is relayed to the brain to accept or like the food. These results in the person eating the food having good mood. On the other hand when the food being consumed has a bad taste, it is likely to spoil the mood of the consumer. Temperature at which food is served/taken can also be a determinant of mood of the person eating the food. For example white wine which conditionally has to be served while chilled, when served at room temperature can spoil the consumer’s mood. When food (hot food) such as grilled/beef is served cold can also affect peoples mood negatively.
When food is at right temperature it helps to enhance the mood of the people eating it. So basically the effect on the mood is determined partially or wholly by perception. When people have perception that certain foods should be served at specific given temperatures it has to be served at those temperatures if the people’s good mood is to be maintained. Another thing that can enhance or destroy people’s mood when eating food is the way it is presented. Well garnished/ decorated food increases appetite and ultimately brings about good mood to the consumer.
When food is presented in a bad manner and in a bad environment the mood of the people during and after eating may be affected negatively. Presentation is more depended on perception as different people perceive different styles of service and presentation differently. This means that one way in which food is presented can lift up the mood of one consumer while the same style may be disliked by another. Menu is another aspect of food that can affect or influence our moods. An elaborate menu that offer variety of alternatives is more likely to boost the feeling of the consumer of the food.
Also a good menu which takes into consideration of special needs of different people e. g. vegetarians or diabetics is likely to bring more satisfaction to the people consuming the food given in the menu. In general terms, the mood at which food is consumed or the mood generated by the food’s consumption may dictate some defined eating habits. At times when negative mood is generated before or during eating the person may end up consuming too little food as a result of lowered appetite. This may eventually lead to maltnutrition.
On the other hand good mood generated before, during and after the meal may result in over consumption of food which may lead to obesity, diabetes, coronary diseases and other degerative disease. So in this case it is good to have food that will arouse enough appetite to allow for intake of the recommended daily allowance. Food that is not up to this standard should be avoided in order to prevent any problems with the afore said diseases and conditions. How mood affect what we eat As earlier discussed mood can either be a good one or a bad one. Mood which is a state of mind or feeling at any given time can determine what we eat.
For example when in good mood people tend to have good appetite and go for their favourite food. There are various states at which people’s mood can be good. One of these is when a person is healthy. In a state of good health a person is likely to be in good mood and this is likely to determine what and how to eat. When a person is not sick he/she is likely to want to keep to his/her health by eating healthily or well balanced food. Good mood is also prevalent when people are celebrating something e. g. birthday, marriage anniversary, and others. During celebrations the mood is generally high and this influences what people eat.
During such times people may over eat or over drink to satisfy their good mood and time. During such celebrations with good mood certain types of food are likely to be eaten. Judith Evans (60) said that when having good times with social friends at social gatherings we are more likely to experience good moods. Such good mood may determine what people eat at such gatherings. At such levels of moods people are likely to over-indulge particularly when drinking. Also as a result of common mood and comradeship people tend to eat what their colleagues are eating be it good or bad.
Good relationship with family may result to good mood which also contributes to what people eat. People tend to have a good appetite when they are happy and as such are able to eat as per the daily recommended allowance. On the other hand when people have strained relations in the family, they are more likely to have bad mood most of the time and this may result in poor eating habits. Therefore the general mood in the family may dictate what is eaten there, for example when the person preparing the food has bad moods he/she may do it wrongly and this end up affecting the other family members.
Mood may be determined by the social status of a person in a specific place. When one person perceives himself or herself to be inferior among the others due to social class it is likely that his or her eating habit will be affected. When people feel they are at a place where their social status is recognized they are likely to have good mood and this inturn may determine what to eat and how to eat it. Other than good mood, bad mood can also influence how and what we eat. For instance when one is angry he/she has a bad mood which can adversely affect what to eat.
There are many reasons that can make one angry e. g. being abused by superiors at the place of work, failure to achieve targets among others. When one is angry there are communication reflexes that affect ones appetite hence determining the quantity of food consumed by the individual and also the nature of the food. Sickness affects one’s mood as well as other processes related to intake, digestion and ejection of food form the system. When one is sick he/she may have pains on body and this will affect the mood which ultimately affects what is eaten by the individual.
Bad mood as a result of sickness may lead to under consumption of food which may lead to malnutrition. When a person is fatigued or tired he/she may have bad mood. Like the other situations of bad mood, this leads to reduced intake of food in the desired quantities. The bad mood brought about by fatigue may also lead to selection of specific food items which may not necessarily have balanced diet (Joseph, 45). During times of bad moods like when people are mourning after bereament certain types of food may be encouraged other than others. This is also seen to affect or influence what we eat at such times.
Stress is the main cause of bad mood. It can result from many reasons ranging from family disputes, workplace duties not accomplished, being very busy and other reasons. When this leads to bad mood, the affected people may start eating too little food, eating specific foods which may be hazardous, or over-eating. This can inturn lead to problems like obesity, diabetes, coronary diseases, malnutrition, among others (Magna Pyke, 96). In conclusion it is evident that food that is eaten can influence our moods and affect our eating behaviours.
On the reverse the mood at which one is in can influence or affect what the individual eats and how he/she does it. The rationale behind this is that food can arouse certain feelings which determine people’s moods and also the feeling possessed by people can also influence their eating habbits.
- John Fuller (1967). Catering management in the technological age. Barrie and Radcliff, London.
- Joseph, F. G (1978). Eating and living right. Kenya literature bureau, Nairobi.
- Judith Evans (1974). Catering in Schools & Colleges. Barrie & Jenkins Ltd, London.
- Magna Pyke (1975). Nutrition. John Murray (publishers) Ltd.