Skip to main content

The Food Relationship Gets Even Weirder: Junk Food Preferences as a Personality Test?

Image placeholder title

A recent article in Forbes Magazine caught my foodie eye. "What Your Junk Food Choices Say About You" explores some interesting theories behind why we crave what we crave, particularly when it comes to junk food.

We all know that food has power. And food wrapped up in multimillion-dollar marketing campaign genius—even more so. But how much does which flavors we're drawn to really reveal about our personalities? Quite a bit, suggests Dr. Alah Hirsch, psychiatrist and neurologist and director of the Smell and Taste Research Foundation. According to Hirsch, the part of the brain that processes smell and taste also deals with emotions. That led Hirsch and his team to study the correlation between personality traits and junk food preferences. Really.

According to Hirsch, notes Forbes, “People who crave tortilla chips are humanitarians who are often distressed by the inequities and injustices of society.” He says they make good planners and may often be very self-disciplined, organized and reliable.

For the potato chip fanatic, gorging on those salty, curly crisps may mean an early death, but it will follow a very successful life. They're high achievers, says Hirsch, ambitious and success-driven, which can make them competitive, too.

From the Organic Authority Files

Pretzel eaters seek novelty, and love abstractions. They won't settle for the mundane daily routines and in fact, may often be the life of a party, suggests Hirsch. Though they're social and love the group dynamic, pretzel fans can also over-commit leading to trouble in relationships at work and at home. (I'm a long-time pretzel lover and agree with most of this assessment...but I've toned down my over-committing...I wonder if he assessed organic pretzel eaters?)

Are you a Cheetos freak? “The cheese curl lover can be described with one word—integrity. They will always maintain moral high ground with their family, work and romantic partners,” according to Hirsch. They're stable, respectful and more aware of "right and wrong" than others.

Although the name would suggest otherwise, jerky eaters tend to be extremely loyal and over-trusting. But that loyalty can bring out a dark side when rejected or feeling threatened.

What does Dr. Hirsch say about healthy food preferences? That's what we really want to know. Let's hope he can tell us what our kale obsession means (besides an obvious knack for wit).

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Bunches and Bits {Karina}

Shop Editors' Picks

Related Stories