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Happiness could lead to making healthier food choices

vegetables

STUDY: Anyone who’s ever downed a tub of ice cream after a rough day knows bad moods breed bad food choices.

But are we more likely to stick to salad when we’re in a good mood?

In a series of studies, researchers analyzed the food choices of people in good, bad and neutral moods.

They found those in a good mood tended to make better choices, while those in a bad mood chowed down on M&Ms.

They hypothesized that this is because people in a good mood are able to see past the immediate benefits of bad mood (mmmm, chocolate) to the long-term benefits of nutritious foods.

“When we think about the future, it’s almost as if we are physically taking a step back, enabling us to see our more fundamental values – like health and nutrition,” co-author Meryl P. Gardner, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Delaware’s Lerner College, said in a press release. “We can use that to make wiser choices rather than letting our moods dictate our behavior.”