Have you ever felt so overwhelmed about something that instead of actually trying to attack the problem, you turn to something else entirely, like eating? Chances are the answer is yes, and a new study is suggesting that there might be scientific evidence to support such a theory.
According to MinnPost.com, the study actually focuses specifically on the cleanliness of your kitchen and the effects it can have on your eating habits. The study, entitled, “Clutter, Chaos, and Overconsumption: The Role of Mind-Set in Stressful and Chaotic Food Environments,” was published in this month’s Environment and Behavior journal.
“The notion that places — such as cluttered offices or disorganized homes — can be modified to help us control our food intake is becoming an important solution in helping us become more ‘slim by design,’” the study’s authors wrote. “The chaotic environment had no impact on consumption of crackers or carrots. Although a chaotic environment can create a vulnerability to making unhealthy food choices, one’s mind-set in that environment can either trigger or buffer against that vulnerability.”
The study supports earlier research done by the University of Minnesota, which found that people in a tidy, orderly room were three times more likely than people in a messy, cluttered room to choose an apple over chocolate as a snack.
On a practical level, having a clean cooking environment (thanks to a maid service or good, old-fashioned elbow grease) most likely encourages a person to want to cook, rather than discouraging them from even being in the room the way a messy kitchen does.
There were, of course, some considerations. The study only looked at female participants between the ages of 17 and 27. They were randomly assigned either “chaotic” or “standard” kitchens and then given various instructions and then asked to rate the qualities of a number of different foods they were instructed to eat.