Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Happiness is seven apples a day (abstract):

Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald, Sarah Stewart-Brown

Humans 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.

What can I say? Eat your fruits and vegetables.

I’m definitely saving this one to show my daughter.

Technical Notes

Blanchflower, David G., and Andrew J. Oswald & Sarah Stewart-Brown, "Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?", NBER Working Paper No. 18469, October 2012


  1. Maybe you should subsidize her vege consumption (which you probably are doing) and tax her sugar funtime (how on earth will that happen? A "clean your room" tax maybe?)

  2. Yeah I notice when im hungry I can get really moody. Makes sense if your eating poorly the same thing can happen too.

  3. @Hafiz,

    :) Pure planned economy at home, she's a little too young to appreciate incentives, monetary or otherwise. It helps that the parents aren't sugar junkies either.