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TitleFoods that are perceived as healthy or unhealthy differentially alter young women's state body image
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHayes JF, D'Anci KE, Kanarek RB

Body image can be influenced by day-to-day events, including food intake. The present study investigated the effects of foods typically perceived as "healthy" or "unhealthy" on state body image and mood. College-aged women were told the experiment was designed to assess the effects of food on cognition. Using a between-subjects design, participants consumed isocaloric amounts of foods perceived to be healthy (banana) or unhealthy (donut) or ate nothing. Next, participants completed three cognitive tasks. Prior to eating and following the cognitive tests, participants completed the BISS, POMS, the Figure Rating Scale, and the Restraint Scale. Body satisfaction decreased following intake of a donut, but was not altered in the other conditions. Depression scores significantly decreased after intake of either a donut or banana, but did not decrease in the no-food condition. Tension scores decreased significantly after consumption of a banana and in the no-food condition, but did not decrease following consumption of a donut. These results indicate that intake of a food that is perceived as unhealthy negatively affects state body image.