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Evolution in Well-being and Happiness after Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables


  • Mujcic, Redzo

    (Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland)

  • Oswald, Andrew.J

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)


Objectives : To explore whether improvements in psychological well-being occur after increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.Methods : Longitudinal food diaries were examined on 12,000 randomly samples Australian adults over 2007, 2009, and 2013. The study examined fixed-effects regression equations on individuals' happiness and life satisfaction. It adjusted for a large set of other influences, including people's changing incomes and personal circumstances. Prospective analysis, Granger-causality tests, and instrumental-variable estimation were also done.Results : Increases in fruit and vegetable intake were predictive of increases in happiness and life satisfaction. Well-being improvements were of up to 0.24 life-satisfaction points (for an increase of 8 portions a day), which is equal size to the psychological gain of moving from unemployment to employment. Improvements occurred within 24 months. Conclusions : People's motivation to eat healthy food is weakened by the fact that physical-health benefits accrue decades later. This study offers a new possibility. Public-health policy could emphasise immediate well-being improvement from healthy eating. Policy Implications : Citizens could be shown longitudinal evidence that 'happiness' gains from healthy eating can occur quickly and many years before enhances physical health.

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  • Mujcic, Redzo & Oswald, Andrew.J, 2016. "Evolution in Well-being and Happiness after Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1128, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1128

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    Cited by:

    1. Chitwan Lalji & Debayan Pakrashi & Russell Smyth, 2016. "Can eating five fruit and veg a day really keep the doctor away?," Monash Economics Working Papers 37-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Huffman, Sonya & Rizov, Marian, 2016. "Life Satisfaction and Diet: Evidence from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235148, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Ocean, Neel, 2016. "The Determinants Of Well-Being Prioritisation Over The Life Cycle," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 301, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:195:y:2017:i:c:p:42-49 is not listed on IDEAS

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