Food choice, mood and mental performance: some examples and some mechanisms

  • Peter J. Rogers

Abstract

It is well established that diet can influence mood and mental performance. Indeed, certain variations in nutritional status can have very marked effects on mental functioning (Table 9.1). This is demonstrated by, for example, the consequences of chronic and severe food restriction (Smart, 1993), thiamin deficiency (Kanarek and Marks-Kaufman, 1991), and iron deficiency (Pollitt, 1987). Acute effects of food and fluid ingestion have also been described, and this area together with an examination of interrelationships between mood and eating is the main concern of the present review. Influences of mood on eating (and drinking) as well as effects of food on mood are considered. The material covered has been included to provide examples of the main findings of this research, and to illustrate certain methodological issues. Possible mechanisms underlying these diet-behaviour relationships are also examined. The relevant literature, however, is very large and cannot be covered fully in a single chapter. Therefore, some subjects such as the effects of alcohol (see Finnigan and Hammersley, 1992 for a review) are not discussed in detail.

Keywords

Placebo Sugar Fatigue Obesity Starch 

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