What Do Your Eating Habits Say About Your Personality?
Remember that quote ‘You are what you eat’? Today we’re going to find out how true it really is.
In the book ‘Mindless Eating’ food researcher and scientist Brian Wansink conducted a research experiment that was able to predict with 83% accuracy, what a person’s character was like based SOLELY on their preference of soup flavor.
Want to try the experiment for yourself?
Take the 2-Question quiz below to find out what your eating habits say about your personality. Pick your favorite choice, and keep reading to the end to see your results.
1.) What is your favorite flavor of soup?
A. Chicken Noodle Soup
B. New England Clam Chowder
D. Chili Beef
2.) Do you save the best food on your plate for last, or do you eat your favorite thing first?
A. I can’t resist- I like to enjoy my favorite thing first.
B. I like to delay gratification and eat my favorite food last in a meal
Read on or scroll to the bottom to find out your results.
In 1826 that French physician (and removed creator of the Paleo and low-carb diets) Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es”.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”
Of course it is true that your body is made up of what you put inside of it, but this is quote also applies on an even deeper level than we often realize.
The food you enjoy tells a story about who you are, and what you think of yourself.
In the book ‘Mindless Eating’ food researcher and scientist Brian Wansink interviewed 411 subjects, diving deep into the reasons behind why they gravitated towards different comfort foods.
At first, his team uncovered what many of us suspected: comfort foods are ones we associate with a happy memory.
People enjoy food that reminds them of how they felt when first eating it- whether that is powerful, safe, victorious, appreciated, in control, or at home. These vivid memory associations are ones that keep pulling us back to food. Our choice of comfort food is deeply tied with our memories of feeling happy, relaxed, cozy, and safe.
The opposite is true as well- food associated with a stressful or traumatic situation can ruin the taste for life.
In a study of World War II veterans stationed in the South Pacific, it was impossible to figure out why some returned home with a taste for Chinese food, and others hated it. At first it was a mystery- Wansink’s team could not find a compelling correlation with the seemingly random aversion to Chinese food.
Finally, further investigation unveiled that veterans who had regularly engaged in hand-to-hand combat during the war did not develop an enjoyment of Asian cuisine, due to the high stress situations they associated with the eating experience.
Although memories and emotional associations are a powerful source of why we love certain comfort foods, there is also another compelling reason why we chose the foods we do.
After a more layered psychoanalysis and questioning process, Wansink’s team discovered that his subjects chose and enjoyed food that they could personally identify with.
After intensive questioning, someone who loves Angel Cake would say they enjoy it because it is ‘sweet and petite’. Another subject would love soup because it is ‘warm and nurturing’ or spicy food because it is ‘exciting and edgy’.
Wansink’s team even found that someone’s proclivity to ‘thinking outside the box’ affected their choice of candy bars.
People who consider themselves innovative thinkers like to chose ‘O’Henry’ bars over more mainstream brands, because it is off-beat and lesser known. But once the wrapper is off, it’s really not much different than a Snickers bar.
This is powerful information. Think about the food YOU love. What does is say about who you are?
Do you chose dishes that are traditional, elegant, and simple? Or perhaps you prefer to indulge in something that is exotic, extravagant, and full of flavor.
What you eat is a reflection of how you feel about yourself. You eat food that you identify with. Especially when it comes to the comfort food that you love.
Knowing WHY you chose the foods you do is a powerful first step in better understanding what drives your eating choices, and how you can rewire not only your habits, but your own self definition.
Next time you’re feeling sad or stressed and want to reach for a donut, think about the kind of person you want to be, and what kind of food choice would reflect that person.
Would you rather be a lean, healthy person of substance? Then eat foods that are lean, healthy, and substantial.
And if you are what you eat, it’s a great rule of thumb to avoid food that is fast, cheap, easy, or fake.
Did you decide which soup was your favorite? Read on to find out what your favorite soup says about how you identify yourself.
The following personality profiles are based on a survey of 554 soup eaters.
If you chose B. New England Clam Chowder, you are…
If you chose C. Tomato, you are…
If you chose D. Chili Beef, you are…
If you chose E. Vegetable Soup, you are…
Bonus Round: Do you save the best food on your plate for last, or do you eat your favorite thing first?
If you chose A, you are probably a middle or younger child and come from a big family. You are smart to eat what you love first, before someone else in your family could get their hands on it.
If you chose B, you are most likely an oldest or only child and come from a smaller family. You didn’t have to compete with your siblings at the dinner table for food, and have carried this habit of leisure into adulthood.
Was your soup personality profile correct? Let me know in the comments if it was accurate or way off.