Eat­ing more fruit and veg­eta­bles will boost your hap­pi­ness: Study

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

Ac­cord­ing to a new study con­ducted by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of War­wick in Eng­land and the Univer­sity of Queens­land in Aus­tralia, eat­ing veg­eta­bles and fruits can ben­e­fit one’s psy­cho­log­i­cal well-be­ing later on. The re­searchers ex­am­ined food di­aries from 12,385 ran­domly se­lected par­tic­i­pants in Aus­tralia. This data was com­pared to the par­tic­i­pants’ psy­cho­log­i­cal well­be­ing. All data came from lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies of Aus­tralian adults in 2007, 2009 and 2013.

To be pub­lished shortly in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pub­lic Health, the study is one of the first ma­jor sci­en­tific at­tempts to ex­plore psy­cho­log­i­cal well-be­ing beyond the tra­di­tional find­ing that fruit and veg­eta­bles can re­duce risk of cancer and heart at­tacks. Hap­pi­ness ben­e­fits were de­tected for each ex­tra daily por­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles up to eight por­tions per day.

The re­searchers con­cluded that peo­ple who changed from al­most no fruit and veg­etable to eight por­tions of fruit and veg­etable a day would ex­pe­ri­ence an in­crease in life sat­is­fac­tion equiv­a­lent to mov­ing from unem­ploy­ment to em­ploy­ment. The well-be­ing im­prove­ments oc­curred within 24 months.

Pro­fes­sor An­drew Oswald said: “Eat­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles ap­par­ently boosts our hap­pi­ness far more quickly than it im­proves hu­man health. Peo­ple’s mo­ti­va­tion to eat healthy food is weak­ened by the fact that phys­i­cal-health ben­e­fits, such as pro­tect­ing against cancer, ac­crue decades later. How­ever, well-be­ing im­prove­ments from in­creased con­sump­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles are closer to im­me­di­ate.”

Dr Redzo Mu­j­cic, re­search fel­low at the Univer­sity of Queens­land, said: “Per­haps our re­sults will be more ef­fec­tive than tra­di­tional mes­sages in con­vinc­ing peo­ple to have a healthy diet. There is a psy­cho­log­i­cal pay­off now from fruit and veg­eta­bles -- not just a lower health risk decades later.”

The au­thors found that al­ter­ations in fruit and veg­etable in­take were pre­dic­tive of later al­ter­ations in hap­pi­ness and sat­is­fac­tion with life. They took into ac­count many other in­flu­ences, in­clud­ing changes in peo­ple’s in­comes and life cir­cum­stances.

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