A Cluttered Environment May Affect Your Eating Habits

A Cluttered Environment May Affect Your Eating Habits

Updated Oct 6, 2019

If you often find yourself in a stressful state of mind, the cleanliness of your home or work setting could have an affect on the way you eat.

Researchers in New York and Sydney, Australia set out to study the effect of a messy environment on one’s eating habits. To test, one hundred female college students were placed in one of two environments: a clean kitchen or a messy kitchen. They were then asked to write about a time in their life where they felt out of control or in control. After writing a short essay, each participant was given cookies, crackers, and carrots to taste and rate.

What researchers found was when surrounded by a messy environment, those who wrote about feeling out of control tended to eat more cookies—3 times the amount on average—than those who wrote about a time they felt in control. This effect was not observed with the crackers or carrots where consumption remained the same in both cases.

The study suggests that a cluttered environment coupled with a stressful state of mind can subconsciously affect our ability to make rational food choices and can lead us to overindulge in junk food. So, if your home is a mess, healthier eating habits could form simply from cleaning up!