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On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life.
Br J Health Psychol. 2015 May; 20(2):413-27.BJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Our aim was to determine whether eating fruit and vegetables (FV) is associated with other markers of well-being beyond happiness and life satisfaction. Towards this aim, we tested whether FV consumption is associated with greater eudaemonic well-being - a state of flourishing characterized by feelings of engagement, meaning, and purpose in life. We also tested associations with two eudaemonic behaviours - curiosity and creativity.

DESIGN

Daily diary study across 13 days (micro-longitudinal, correlational design).

METHODS

A sample of 405 young adults (67% women; mean age 19.9 [SD 1.6] years) completed an Internet daily diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, participants reported on their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, creativity, positive affect (PA), and negative affect. Between-person associations were analysed on aggregated data. Within-person associations were analysed using multilevel models controlling for weekday and weekend patterns.

RESULTS

Fruit and vegetables consumption predicted greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity at the between- and within-person levels. Young adults who ate more FV reported higher average eudaemonic well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less FV. On days when young adults ate more FV, they reported greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity compared with days when they ate less FV. FV consumption also predicted higher PA, which mostly did not account for the associations between FV and the other well-being variables. Few unhealthy foods (sweets, chips) were related to well-being except that consumption of sweets was associated with greater curiosity and PA at the within-person level. Lagged data analyses showed no carry-over effects of FV consumption onto next-day well-being (or vice versa).

CONCLUSIONS

Although these patterns are strictly correlational, this study provides the first evidence that FV consumption may be related to a broader range of well-being states that signal human flourishing in early adulthood. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? There is growing evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (FV) is related to greater happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect. These associations are not entirely explained by demographic or health variables including socio-economic status, exercise, smoking, and body mass index (BMI). Recent experimental and daily diary research suggests that FV consumption may be a causal factor in promoting states of positive well-being. Research has examined the links between FV consumption and hedonic well-being - whether people feel good (vs. bad) and satisfied-but has not addressed links between FV consumption and eudaemonic well-being- whether people feel engaged and experience their lives as meaningful and purposeful. What does this study add? It provides the first evidence that eating FV is related to greater eudaemonic well-being in a naturalistic setting. Eating FV was also related to greater self-reported curiosity and creativity. FV consumption may underlie a broad range of experiences that signal flourishing. Future randomised controlled trials of FV should include measures of eudaemonic well-being as outcome variables.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25080035

Citation

Conner, Tamlin S., et al. "On Carrots and Curiosity: Eating Fruit and Vegetables Is Associated With Greater Flourishing in Daily Life." British Journal of Health Psychology, vol. 20, no. 2, 2015, pp. 413-27.
Conner TS, Brookie KL, Richardson AC, et al. On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life. Br J Health Psychol. 2015;20(2):413-27.
Conner, T. S., Brookie, K. L., Richardson, A. C., & Polak, M. A. (2015). On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life. British Journal of Health Psychology, 20(2), 413-27. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12113
Conner TS, et al. On Carrots and Curiosity: Eating Fruit and Vegetables Is Associated With Greater Flourishing in Daily Life. Br J Health Psychol. 2015;20(2):413-27. PubMed PMID: 25080035.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life. AU - Conner,Tamlin S, AU - Brookie,Kate L, AU - Richardson,Aimee C, AU - Polak,Maria A, Y1 - 2014/07/30/ PY - 2014/02/20/received PY - 2014/05/21/revised PY - 2014/8/1/entrez PY - 2014/8/1/pubmed PY - 2016/1/8/medline KW - affect KW - creativity KW - curiosity KW - daily diary KW - ecological momentary assessment KW - emotion KW - food KW - fruit KW - happiness KW - health KW - healthy KW - life satisfaction KW - mood KW - nutrition KW - snacking KW - vegetable KW - vegetables KW - well-being SP - 413 EP - 27 JF - British journal of health psychology JO - Br J Health Psychol VL - 20 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to determine whether eating fruit and vegetables (FV) is associated with other markers of well-being beyond happiness and life satisfaction. Towards this aim, we tested whether FV consumption is associated with greater eudaemonic well-being - a state of flourishing characterized by feelings of engagement, meaning, and purpose in life. We also tested associations with two eudaemonic behaviours - curiosity and creativity. DESIGN: Daily diary study across 13 days (micro-longitudinal, correlational design). METHODS: A sample of 405 young adults (67% women; mean age 19.9 [SD 1.6] years) completed an Internet daily diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, participants reported on their consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, creativity, positive affect (PA), and negative affect. Between-person associations were analysed on aggregated data. Within-person associations were analysed using multilevel models controlling for weekday and weekend patterns. RESULTS: Fruit and vegetables consumption predicted greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity at the between- and within-person levels. Young adults who ate more FV reported higher average eudaemonic well-being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less FV. On days when young adults ate more FV, they reported greater eudaemonic well-being, curiosity, and creativity compared with days when they ate less FV. FV consumption also predicted higher PA, which mostly did not account for the associations between FV and the other well-being variables. Few unhealthy foods (sweets, chips) were related to well-being except that consumption of sweets was associated with greater curiosity and PA at the within-person level. Lagged data analyses showed no carry-over effects of FV consumption onto next-day well-being (or vice versa). CONCLUSIONS: Although these patterns are strictly correlational, this study provides the first evidence that FV consumption may be related to a broader range of well-being states that signal human flourishing in early adulthood. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? There is growing evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (FV) is related to greater happiness, life satisfaction, and positive affect. These associations are not entirely explained by demographic or health variables including socio-economic status, exercise, smoking, and body mass index (BMI). Recent experimental and daily diary research suggests that FV consumption may be a causal factor in promoting states of positive well-being. Research has examined the links between FV consumption and hedonic well-being - whether people feel good (vs. bad) and satisfied-but has not addressed links between FV consumption and eudaemonic well-being- whether people feel engaged and experience their lives as meaningful and purposeful. What does this study add? It provides the first evidence that eating FV is related to greater eudaemonic well-being in a naturalistic setting. Eating FV was also related to greater self-reported curiosity and creativity. FV consumption may underlie a broad range of experiences that signal flourishing. Future randomised controlled trials of FV should include measures of eudaemonic well-being as outcome variables. SN - 2044-8287 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25080035/On_carrots_and_curiosity:_eating_fruit_and_vegetables_is_associated_with_greater_flourishing_in_daily_life_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12113 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -