Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?
AbstractHumans run on a fuel called food. Yet economists and other social scientists rarely study what people eat. We provide simple evidence consistent with the existence 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. The pattern is remarkably robust to adjustment for a large number of other demographic, social and economic variables. 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). 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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18469.
Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- David Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald & Sarah Stewart-Brown, 2013. "Is Psychological Well-Being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 785-801, December.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Stewart-Brown, Sarah, 2012. "Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 996, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2012-10-27 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-HEA-2012-10-27 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2012-10-27 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- International Happiness
by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2013-02-17 03:11:00
- Vegetable Consumption and Life Satisfaction
by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-11-10 21:24:00
- Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey," MPRA Paper 47793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Piper, Alan, 2013. "A Note on Modelling Dynamics in Happiness Estimations," MPRA Paper 49364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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