Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happiness Apparently Makes You Eat Candy

From A Basket Case.
The Times of India reports that happy people tend to eat candy, while "hopeful" people eat fruit and vegetables. This comes from a series of studies by Karen Page Winterich of Pennsylvania State University and Kelly L. Haws of Texas A&M University. They got their results by having participants either thinking about the past, present, or future, then seeing whether they picked candy or fruit.

In the first study, hopeful participants ate less M&Ms than those thinking of present happiness. In the second, participants thinking of the past ate even more unhealthy snacks. In the third study, participants thought of positive emotions in the past and the future. The "future" people chose healthier food.

The study authors conclude, "So the next time you're feeling well, don't focus too much on all the good things in the past. Instead, keep that positive glow and focus on your future, especially all the good things you imagine to come. Your waistline will thank you!"

Overall, this sounds like a rather unconventional series of studies with a lot going on. The article doesn't go into much detail, but it sounds like different snacks were used in each study (M&Ms in one, unspecified candy bars in another, etc.), which could make the conclusions suspicious because of all the variables. I also hope the authors kept strict definitions of "hope," "pride," and "happiness," as these are somewhat airy concepts that participants could have defined however they wanted.

1 comment:

  1. Humm, yep, seems all very weird and suspicious to me too :S