The sweet life: The effect of mindful chocolate consumption on mood

Appetite. 2017 Jan 1:108:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.018. Epub 2016 Sep 15.


Chocolate consumption is anecdotally associated with an increase in happiness, but little experimental work has examined this effect. We combined a food type manipulation (chocolate vs. crackers) with a mindfulness manipulation (mindful consumption vs. non-mindful consumption) and examined the impact on positive mood. Participants (N = 258) were randomly assigned to eat a small portion (75 calories) of chocolate or a control food (crackers) in a mindful or non-mindful way. Participants who were instructed to mindfully eat chocolate had a greater increase in positive mood compared to participants who were instructed to eat chocolate non-mindfully or crackers either mindfully or non-mindfully. Additional analyses revealed that self-reported liking of the food partially mediated this effect. Chocolate appears to increase positive mood, but particularly when it is eaten mindfully.

Keywords: Candy; Chocolate; Mindfulness; Mood; Positive affect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Candy*
  • Chocolate*
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult