What’s the Science Behind Snacking?

Individual preferences are the driving forces behind our snack choices. While some of us prefer chocolate, others like chips or peanuts better. But what happens in your brain once you’ve eaten that whole bag of chips?

A neuroscientific study from 2019 used electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain responses to snacks. EEG measures the brain’s electrical activity with electrodes fixed to an elastic cap worn like a hat. The study showed that individual preferences for two types of chocolate (milk chocolate or white chocolate) and edible wafer paper were reflected in brain responses, with the largest response for the highly preferred snack (Peterburs, Sannemann, & Bellebaum, 2019 ). Read more about this study here .

In a new follow-up study ( Huvermann, Bellebaum, & Peterburs, 2021 ), researchers at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf in Germany and MSH Medical School Hamburg investigated how the neural coding of snack preferences was affected by the consumption of one’s most preferred snack.

Excerpted from Psychology Today

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