Science Explains Why You Eat More When You Are Drunk

By Clara Olshansky |

© Vintage Images / Alamy

Still regretting devouring that 20-piece box of chicken nuggets after a night out at the bar? Let that junk food remorse disappear and blame your drunken binge eating on science.  A recent study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine's Department of Medicine and Neurology found that after consuming alcohol women will eat much more than they normally would. The study's title, "The Apéritif Effect: Alcohol's effects on the brain's response to food aromas in women," takes the literal meaning of the term apéritif, from the Latin word for "to open," suggesting alcohol opens the appetite. In other words, drinking makes you hungry.  Moreover, drinking makes the brain more sensitive to "food cues," which make foods smell so much more delicious. This might explain why you eat things when you're drunk that you'd never touch when you are sober. 

 Rather than giving participants some alcohol, which, evidently, isn't science-y enough, researchers injected alcohol intravenously into the experimental group and injected a placebo into the control group. Participants were then given the option to choose a lunch: pasta with ground beef and Italian tomato sauce or noodles with shredded beef and gravy. In both cases, those who were now intoxicated ate way more.

The study was conducted to add to existing research tying alcohol consumption to overeating. It concluded what we don't want to know: "Many alcoholic beverages already include empty calories, and when you combine those calories with The Apéritif Effect, it can lead to energy imbalance and possibly weight gain.”

 That's unfortunate. I'm going to go console myself with wine and cake. 

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