Tired minds crave junk food

Is new study’s info really new?

A new study came out this week that said if you’re tired you are more likely to crave junk food than when you’re well rested. The researchers, from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University in New York, found that tired brains associate junk food with reward and pleasure, making sleep-deprived people more likely to grab a burger or slice of pizza.

The research has made a splash across many news organizations, including Time magazine, but is it really all that newsworthy? Sure, it’s a catchy headline, but is anyone surprised by what this study found? Did we really need research to tell us that when we’re tired, we want to eat junk food?

Isn’t food-as-pleasure one of the main psychological issues behind obesity? When we’re tired, or stressed out or upset, we crave that food that is going to provide the comfort we’re currently missing.

Take the staff at FSD for example. During our deadline week, we routinely purchase candy to eat during those high-stress times. It’s a known fact in the office that either myself or my co-worker Lindsey Ramsey will have some kind of candy to help take the edge of those days when our brains are overloading—and often tired.

Now, thanks to this research I can justify my junk-food cravings and feel a little less guilty about that chocolate I eat during deadline. And just in case you were wondering, M&Ms and Starbursts are our candies of choice if you feel so inclined to send us some of the goodies our brains crave while we feverishly put together the magazine for you.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources