Good news for those who have struggled to maintain their New Year’s diets - new research has revealed that eating dessert can really be GOOD for you.
The research, conducted with 100 adults in Sheffield, which explores everyday eating habits, has identified that an occasional dessert lifts family mood, improves interactions and helps to create happy memories.
It also shows how children can benefit from family meals - they are more likely to succeed in life, be healthier, do better at school, have higher self-esteem and are less likely to develop eating disorders.
Professor Geoffrey Beattie - who was once a psychologist for Big Brother - and advised on the study, said: “We’ve known that sharing food has huge psychological, cultural and emotional significance. It’s a critical part of our evolution and core to our everyday social world.
“This study identified that occasionally eating a dessert is producing a ‘blip’ of happiness which is positively affecting families’ mood, influencing how families are interacting with each other, and is creating happy memories.”
The research showed that many families eagerly anticipated a dessert together, which was leading to a positive group mood.
Researchers saw a general sharing of experiences linked to the sharing of food, which was helping to bond families together.
An improved overall atmosphere was also witnessed at the dining table, with light hearted conversation, a sense of cheerfulness and families being in a harmonious state.
In addition, the researchers concluded that the general happiness being experienced was helping to form positive memories and better memory recall.
Commenting on the research findings, Bernard Maher, commercial manager at Europe’s leading producer of frozen cakes and desserts, Coppenrath & Wiese, which commissioned the research, said: “I know that we all see eating dessert as routine and commonplace. But I’m sure we’ve all experienced the flicker of anticipation and excitement when we know that there is a treat on the way.
“We had no idea that the humble dessert could have such a psychological effect. It seems like the occasional dessert really could give British families a feel-good boost!”