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Eating fruits and vegetables along with exercising can make you a happier person

Published on:20 September 2021, 12:30pm IST
The findings of a new study suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption along with exercise can aid in increasing levels of happiness.
ANI
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Eating well and staying active is the ultimate mantra for a better life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The findings of a new study suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption along with exercise can aid in increasing levels of happiness.

The findings of the study were published in the ‘Journal of Happiness Studies’

While the link between lifestyle and wellbeing has been previously documented and often used in public health campaigns to encourage healthier diets and exercise, new findings showed that there is also positive causation from lifestyle to life satisfaction.

This research is the first of its kind to unravel the causation of how happiness, the consumption of fruit and vegetables and exercising are related, rather than generalising a correlation.

benefits if eating fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the key to a healthy body. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The researchers, Dr Adelina Gschwandtner (University of Kent’s School of Economics), Dr Sarah Jewell and Professor Uma Kambhampati (both from the University of Reading’s School of Economics), used an instrumental variable approach to filter out any effect from happiness to lifestyle. It showed that it is rather the consumption of fruit and vegetables and exercising that makes people happy and not the other way round.

Findings demonstrate that the ability of individuals to delay gratification and apply self-control plays a major role in influencing lifestyle decisions, which in turn has a positive impact on wellbeing. The research also shows that men appear to exercise more, and women eat more fruit and vegetables.

Eating healthy and exercising can keep you hale and hearty

With it being well known that lifestyle diseases are a leading cause of ill health and mortality worldwide, and the UK having one of the highest obesity rates in Europe, these findings could have significant implications for public health policy.

benefits if eating fruits and vegetables
Work it out. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Gschwandtner said, “Behavioural nudges that help the planning self to reinforce long-term objectives are likely to be especially helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If a better lifestyle not only makes us healthier but also happier, then it is a clear win-win situation.”

Professor Kambhampati said, “There has been a bigger shift in recent years for healthier lifestyle choices. To establish that eating more fruit and vegetables and exercising can increase happiness as well as offer health benefits is a major development. This may also prove useful for policy campaigns around environment and sustainability.”