A pint of Ben & Jerry’s. That whole freaking bag of potato chips. A box of donut holes. No, it’s not the MDA trifecta of evil (although it could be). Sure, they’re among the proverbial symbols of “mood food,” and the saying about Ben and Jerry’s is true: ice cream tops the list, according to Brian Wansink, professor and author on the subject of emotional eating. (Wansink found that beyond top honors, gender determines what we drown our sorrow in. Women turn to chocolate – surprise – and cookies, while men hunt down heartier fare like pizza, steak and casserole.)
But even if these kinds of products have never seen the inside of your kitchen let alone your stomach, that doesn’t mean you’re immune from turning to food for more than nutrition. Yes, even innocent carrots and grape tomatoes can be used for deleterious purposes. No food is safe from the scourge of mindless, emotionally driven eating.