Happiness is … a lot of fruits and veggies

New Year’s Eve is on its way and it may be time to put some hard thinkin’ on your 2013 resolutions.

If you’re one of the large group planning to revise your eating habits during 2013, some new research might just give provide a bit of inspiration.

Economists from Dartmouth University and England have found a link between the amount of fruits and veggies in a person’s diet and their happiness, according to Health on Today.

The results were gleaned from several studies from the United Kingdom that looked at psychological well-being and health factors, such as diet, of 80,000 people. While some studies surveyed the group on issues such as work stress and the ability to cope with life problems, others looked at how often each person ate fruits and veggies.

They found that people who ate more produce tended to be happier. The optimum level of fruit and vegetable consumption was seven to eight portions a day, although those who eat the USDA recommended five servings a day were nearly as happy as those who ate more, according to the article.

However the authors caution against the old trap of correlation vs. causation. That is, it’s unknown whether fruit and vegetable consumption causes happiness or if happier people just tend to eat more fruits and veggies.

As a side note, enhanced produce safety is a key part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Although industry still is waiting for the rules to be published, the new regulations aim to increase preventative controls and traceability.

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