Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?
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Little is known about the influence of people’s diet on their psychological well-being. This study provides evidence of a link between the consumption of fruit and vegetables and high well-being. In cross-sectional data, happiness and mental health rise in an approximately dose–response way with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Well-being peaks at approximately 7 portions per day. We document this relationship in three data sets, covering approximately 80,000 randomly selected British individuals, and for seven measures of well-being (life satisfaction, WEMWBS mental well-being, GHQ mental disorders, self-reported health, happiness, nervousness, and feeling low). The pattern is robust to adjustment for a large number of other demographic, social and economic variables. Reverse causality and problems of confounding remain possible. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our analysis, how government policy-makers might wish to react to it, and what kinds of further research—especially randomized trials—would be valuable.
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- Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?
Social Indicators Research
Volume 114, Issue 3 , pp 785-801
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Subjective well-being
- Healthy food
- Mental health
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
- 2. IZA Institute, Bonn, Germany
- 3. Department of Economics and CAGE Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
- 4. Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK