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Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?
Author(s): Blanchflower, David
Oswald, Andrew J
Stewart-Brown, Sarah
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Citation: Blanchflower D, Oswald AJ & Stewart-Brown S (2012) Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables?. NBER Working Paper, 18469.
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2012
Date Deposited: 21-Nov-2012
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Series/Report no.: NBER Working Paper, 18469
Abstract: 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.
Type: Working Paper
Rights: Author holds copyright.
Affiliation: Economics
University of Warwick
University of Warwick

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