Another word for Valentine’s Day is ‘guilt-free chocolate consumption’. This day is loved by many but the only disturbing thing about it is the huge amount of chocolate consumption.
Rachel Rodgers along with her colleagues from the Bouve College of Health Sciences of Northeastern University explores this notion of guilt. It is observed that there is an international inquiry on the relationship between chocolate and us. This relationship is called “orientation toward chocolate questionnaire.” The study observes the dynamics of craving and the result that leads to eating and tasting the awesomeness of the substance named chocolate. This craving is then coupled with cultural rules that deny eating fat-foods and the guilt that we experience is the consequence of this.
Studies say that such contradictory ideas lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. However, the exception stands with French women who represent a unique sort of population. Rodgers says that the French have a specific and hedonistic food culture that concentrates on the pleasurable aspects of foods. Therefore, the guilty aspect of pleasure turns into just ‘pleasure’. And they believe that once someone categorises food as ‘bad’, they may develop eating disorders.
And the attitude of the French proves to be right and healthier, as Americans, despite having guilt and higher levels of ambivalence regarding chocolate and other foods, show greater level of obesity and prevalence of many eating disorders.
Rodgers observes that the chocolate-related guilt was more prevalent in over-weight and obese women as compared to the ones with normal weight. There was an increased consumption of chocolate in these women and then, they were found guilty about it.
Finally, Rodgers says, “I say we try to adopt a more Francophilian (I think I just made up a word) approach to our chocolate indulgence.” She says that we cannot abuse our systems by being cruel to them with ambivalence and guilt. It is important for us to create a positive relationship with food.