That Insane Diet Is Making Your Emotional Intelligence Go Way Down

Perhaps this explains a Mean Girls phenomenon? A new study in Appetite found that women with abnormal eating habits also tended to have poor social skills. Burn.

Researchers surveyed 80 women in the U.K. in their 20s, with half having high scores on an "eating disorder inventory" and the other half having low scores. They were then shown 160 images of faces expressing happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust, with varying degrees of intensity.

The researchers discovered that women who binged on food or had an "extreme fear of gaining weight" tended to have lower scores on recognizing facial emotions. In fact, they tended to mistake fear for anger or sadness, or anger as sadness. 

The women with the highest levels of body dissatisfaction tended to be less sensitive to facial cues in general, researchers said. The cause? Potentially "abnormalities in the part of the brain associated with emotions," the Wall Street Journal reports. Even more reason to eat healthy and exercise, instead of extreme dieting and juice fasts.