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Cooking And Eating: The Sixth Love Language For Seven In 10 Americans

Food becomes a source of comfort and stress relief for majority, with ice cream and pizza topping the list.
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Seven in 10 Americans consider cooking and eating as the sixth “love language.”


The poll of 2,000 Americans who cook regularly revealed 80% use food as a way to comfort themselves after a stressful day and 65% will use food as a way to comfort others.

Ice cream was crowned as the top go-to comfort food (34%), followed closely by pizza (31%), pasta (24%), burgers (22%) and grilled cheese (19%).

Over three-quarters (78%) agree cooking is a calming task for them to do, and it was ranked as the top activity people do when they need to relieve stress (65%), more than twice as high as the second leading choice: cleaning (31%).

Seven in 10 Americans consider cooking and eating as the sixth “love language.” COTTONBRO STUDIO/SWNS

People also turn to chores like gardening (30%), doing laundry (25%) and folding laundry (23%) to reduce stress.

Commissioned by Noom and conducted by OnePoll, the study found by the end of the day, 90% feel some degree of stress. Over a quarter (28%) claimed to feel stressed “all the time” or “often” after their day is done.

People feel their end-of-the-day stress is most often caused by their job (40%), their to-do list (32%) and their social life (28%).

Eighty-nine percent said it’s important to them that they feel mentally healthy, which could explain why 81% try to make sure they’re stress-free and worry-free by the time they go to bed.

Four in five will at least occasionally find themselves reflecting on their day while doing the daily tasks they enjoy, which were found to mirror the tasks that relieve stress.

Respondents said they enjoy tasks such as cooking (80%), cleaning (43%), doing laundry (41%), gardening (39%) and folding laundry (34%).

“It’s easy to find a task like cooking to be therapeutic and relaxing,” said Dr. Andreas Michaelides, Ph.D., chief of psychology at Noom. “It’s a way to focus on a singular task, practice reflection, and create something positive that nourishes you and makes you feel good.”

According to the findings, the most effective ways to relieve stress at the end of the day include listening to music (35%), watching TV (34%), taking a bath or shower (34%), eating a comfort meal (23%) or cooking for themselves (21%).

As one in five turn to social feeds for stress relief, respondents also shared the types of social media videos they felt were either beneficial or detrimental to their mental health: cooking videos (85%), animal videos (76%) and music videos (72%) were all beneficial.

Two in three (65%) find food-related media, like cooking shows and videos, to be relaxing and a third “always” or “often” watches food-related media to unwind before bed. The average person watches 13 food-related videos in any given week.

The best food media personalities and chefs to watch are Gordon Ramsey (30%), Guy Fieri (24%), Alton Brown (18%), Uncle Roger (15%) and Matty Matheson (14%).

Michaelides added, “Of course, staying on social media for too long will start to make you feel burnt out and stressed. But it’s interesting to see what types of content people interpret as beneficial for their mental wellbeing and see it follow the pattern of food being a key component in relieving stress.”


  • Cooking – 65%
  • Cleaning – 31%
  • Gardening – 30%
  • Doing laundry – 25%
  • Folding laundry – 23%
  • Mowing the lawn – 22%
  • Doing dishes – 20%
  • Organizing – 20%
  • Sweeping/vacuuming/mopping – 19%
  • Weeding – 18%
Seven in 10 Americans consider cooking and eating as the sixth “love language.” SWNS

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who cook on a regular basis was commissioned by Noom between November 3 and November 8, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Produced in association with SWNS Research

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