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Everyday Eating Experiences of Chocolate and Non-Chocolate Snacks Impact Postprandial Anxiety, Energy and Emotional States

BioAnalytical Science, Nestlé Research Center, Nestec Ltd., PO Box 44, CH-1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2012, 4(6), 554-567;
Received: 16 March 2012 / Revised: 11 May 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 20 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodomics 2011)
PDF [349 KB, uploaded 20 June 2012]


Social and psychological stressors are both a part of daily life and are increasingly recognized as contributors to individual susceptibility to develop diseases and metabolic disorders. The present study investigated how snacks differing in sensory properties and presentation can influence ratings of affect in consumers with different levels of dispositional anxiety. This study examines the relationships between a pre-disposition to anxiety and food using a repeated exposures design with three interspersed test days over a period of two weeks. The study was conducted on ninety free-living male (n = 28) and female (n = 62) Dutch participants aged between 18 and 35 years old, with a BMI between 18 and 25 kg/m2 and different anxiety trait levels assessed using State-Trait Anxiety Inventory tests. The study was randomized by age, gender, anxiety trait score, and followed a parallel open design. Three test products: dark chocolate, a milk chocolate snack and crackers with cheese spread (control), which differed in composition, sensory properties and presentation, were evaluated. Changes in self-reported anxiety, emotion, and energetic states were assessed as a function of eating the snacks just after consumption and up to one hour. The repeated exposure design over a period of two weeks enabled the investigations of potential cumulative effects of regular consumption of the food products. The milk chocolate snack resulted in the decrease of anxiety in high anxiety trait subjects, whereas dark chocolate and cheese and crackers respectively improved the anxiety level and the energetic state of low anxiety trait participants. The mood effects were not altered with repeated exposure, and the magnitude of changes was similar on each test day, which illustrates the repeatability of the effects of the food on subjective measures of postprandial wellness. View Full-Text
Keywords: anxiety state; anxiety trait; chocolate; energy; emotion anxiety state; anxiety trait; chocolate; energy; emotion

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Martin, F.-P.; Antille, N.; Rezzi, S.; Kochhar, S. Everyday Eating Experiences of Chocolate and Non-Chocolate Snacks Impact Postprandial Anxiety, Energy and Emotional States. Nutrients 2012, 4, 554-567.

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