Healthy Foods and Lifestyle Proven to Make You Happier

Healthy Foods and Lifestyle Proven to Make You Happier
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Natural Society

Engaging in unhealthy activities have an obvious negative impact on your physical health, but did you ever consider how these activities are impacting your emotional health? Activities leading to poor health like drinking alcohol and smoking regularly have been shown to also greatly contribute to a lower level of overall happiness. Taking this aspect into consideration offers an even greater reason to establish an overall healthy lifestyle.

Unhealthy Diet Leads to an Overall Lower Quality of Life

Authors of the study coming to this finding used data from Understanding Society — a long-term study of 40,000 UK households. Researchers analyzed the life at home and the health-related behavior of close to 5000 kids ages 10 to 15. The nearly 5000 kids were questioned on family friends, appearance, and various other factors including their overall happiness levels. What they found was that teenagers who never or seldom engaged in drinking alcohol were between four and six times more likely to be happier than those those who do drink. Similarly, teens who refuse cigarettes are nearly five times more happy than their smoking counterparts.

To add to the findings, the authors also found that higher consumption of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and less ingestion of junk food was associated with a higher happiness level.

Unfortunately for virtually the entire adolescent population, psychological food advertisements are an indirect reason for the decreased happiness level. Researchers have found parental disapproval of junk food only resulted in 13 percent less children choosing junk food, which is oftentimes full of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. These advertisements are also contributing to the severe lack of nutritious food intake, with only 10 percent of high school students consuming the appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables.

The processed junk foods which are contributing to a lack of happiness have also been shown to trigger addiction and brain damage. In fact, research finds that processed foods and sugary drinks are addictive as cocaine.

“Another explanation could be that youths who smoke and drink first fit themselves into certain groups that tend to be unhappier, and then they find themselves unhappy. It becomes a vicious cycle…It’s probably a combination of both [turning to these activities and fitting in with groups first]. Some will take up smoking because they want to feel more adult, but then find themselves hanging out with people who are less happy and then they become less happy”, co-author Cara Booker says.

Advertising plays a large part in the high rate of smokers as well, with the subconscious and conscious mind constantly being bombarded with smoking scenes in movies and TV. Unfortunately when children choose to take such a  glorified role in society as suggested by film, they are also subjecting themselves to not only the dangers of smoking, but the unhappy life that often comes with it as well.