Healthy living

Chips keep you cheerful

Zone default image A good mood food!

Dietitians and nutritionists may hate them, but a new study suggests that chips may act as natural mood boosters.

A survey of 2,000 adults carried out for National Chip Week found that adults loved chips because of their taste (73%), smell (20%) and texture (6%).

But experts from Aston University say that chips can also improve your mood when feeling low.

In the study, 60 men and women were shown a video clip of the harrowing effects of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

After viewing the clip, half of the adults were given a magazine to read and the other half a plate of chips to eat.

Unsurprisingly, it was found that the video clip generally depressed the mood of the volunteers.

However, participants who ate chips afterwards felt more calm, cheerful and less anxious compared to those who ate nothing, said the researchers.

In fact, the experts on food psychology said that after eating chips people experienced a 10% increase in calmness and a 13% increase in cheerfulness.

Dr Mike Green, who led the research which was funded by the Potato Council, said: “The consumption of chips clearly improved respondents’ mood. The psychological data showed that participants who were feeling down felt better after eating chips.

"In fact, calmness was restored within twenty minutes.

“There are a number of possible nutritional and psychological mechanisms which could explain the mood changes after eating chips.

"It may be down to the biological effects of nutritional components on brain chemistry or simply a pleasurable oro-stimulatory sensation, triggered by the way chips taste,” he added.

So now you know.

This article was published on Mon 15 February 2010

Image © Uros Petrovic -

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