By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Why is it that so many of us feel better when eating chocolate, ice cream, or a bag of chips? And why does this happen particularly when we’re sad?

It’s well known that there’s a relationship between our emotional state and eating behavior. Now researchers are using technology to try figure out why.

A study out of Belgium used brain scans to look at twelve healthy, non-obese study participants. Those in the study listened to either sad or neutral music while lying in a brain scanner. Once people were made to feel sad enough, the researchers gave them either a fat-based or a water-based liquid. Turns out that when the participants got the fatty liquid, they not only reported feeling less hungry, but also less sad.

This change in mood was accompanied with a lower level of brain activity in areas linked with emotional processing. The authors did not disclose what musical groups made them feel sad.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor