We invest food with so much meaning, and rightly so: it changes our mood, it strengthens our relationships when we eat together and food choices express who we are.

But food has a dark side. We worry about eating unhealthy, about weight gain and how we can control our intake. Eating is not just pleasure; it is also about the struggle with ourselves.

In the last few decades we’ve learnt an enormous amount about the psychology of food.

Too many points to try to summarise, so here are all 20 insights simply listed:

  1. America’s [and almost everyone else’s?] terrible relationship with food

  2. You don’t know when you’re really full

  3. Fat = bad?

  4. It’s never ‘just lunch’

  5. Taste fades with age

  6. Carrots taste weird for breakfast

  7. Fat waitress = fat customer

  8. Fat friends = fat self

  9. Eating intentions are beaten by habits

  10. Mindless eating

  11. Suppressing food thoughts leads to bingeing

  12. If it’s healthy, you can eat more! [unfortunately not true]

  13. Anyone for smoked salmon ice-cream?

  14. Label it full-fat and it tastes better

  15. Bad moods make you eat bad stuff

  16. Healthy foods improve your mood

  17. I won’t have what she’s having

  18. Small changes beat weird crash diets

  19. The Pepsi challenge

  20. I’m eating an idea and it’s a tasty one!