Tracking coronavirus: Science behind seeking ‘comfort food’ in times of stress


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – So many of you have been posting on Facebook and other social media platforms that your eating habits have gone out of the window.

We all know if we can say we’re overindulging, we’re fortunate to be able to do that right now.
But it’s not the best way to handle stress.

David Hall of Haven Counseling Center says there’s actually some psychology behind what we call “comfort food.”

“When we are in stressful situations our bodies naturally crave a category of food that is called hyper-palatable,” Hal says. “They’re foods high in salt, sugar, carbs and fat. A lot of that has to do with you think of your body as interpreting you’re in a survival place. And when you’re in those situations, it makes sense that your body is going to crave the things that give you the quickest energy and so a lot of that is highly processed food.

“Even though it makes a lot of sense, and there’s a lot of comfort in that, there are still more positive choices we can choose when in these times of stress.”

Plus, when you eat high fat, processed foods, you just don’t always feel your best.

For some recommendations on better food choices of items that may be available at the grocery store, Haven Counseling Center has some great advice and ideas at

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