Impact of nutrition on social decision making

Scientists at the University of Lübeck, Munich and London show that our daily meals have a strong impact on how we decide in social situations. The results of their recent study are published in the prestigious scientific journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” (PNAS).

We all need food in order to survive. However, that food alters, in addition energy levels, numerous other biochemical processes. The ratio of our food’s macronutrient content controls our amino acid levels, which in turn determine which neurotransmitters are available in our brain.

In two independent studies the scientists could show that depending on the carbohydrate and protein ratio of participant’s food they decided differently when facing unfair situations. Interestingly, there was a direct relation between participant’s behavior and changes in their tyrosine levels. These results indicate, that food has an influence on our brain’s neurotransmitter levels and this in turn impacts our behavior.


Prof. So Young Park
Phone +49 451 3101 3610 
Email: soyoung.park(at)

Publication: When food dictates your choice, the impact of nutrition on social decision making. Sabrina Strang, Christina Hoeber, Olaf Uhl, Berthold Koletzko, Thomas F. Münte, Hendrik Lehnert, Raymond J. Dolan, Sebastian M. Schmid, and Soyoung Q. Park. PNAS 2017.