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Eating breakfast, fruit and vegetable intake and their relation with happiness in college students



Purpose: Nutrition plays a major role in physical and mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between happiness and fruit and vegetable intake as well as eating breakfast in students. Methods: In this cross-sectional web-based study, all students of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in Iran who attended course classes were invited to participate in the study. Five hundred forty-one students filled out the web-based questionnaire which included questions related to measurement of happiness, breakfast, fruit and vegetable consumption and socio-economic and demographic information. Analysis of covariance was used to assess the relationship between happiness and breakfast, fruit and vegetable consumption by adjustments for covariates. Results: Measure of happiness was positively associated with eating breakfast, number of meals eaten daily and the amount of fruit and vegetable consumption (P values were <0.001, 0.008, 0.02, and 0.045 respectively). Students who ate breakfast every day, more than 8 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, and had 3 meals in addition to 1-2 snacks per day had the highest happiness score. Conclusion: Healthier behavior pattern was associated with higher happiness scores among medical students.
Eating breakfast, fruit and vegetable intake and their relation
with happiness in college students
Azadeh Lesani
Asghar Mohammadpoorasl
Maryam Javadi
Jabiz Modaresi Esfeh
Ali Fakhari
Received: 27 December 2015 / Accepted: 9 February 2016
ÓSpringer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
Purpose Nutrition plays a major role in physical and
mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the
relationships between happiness and fruit and veg-
etable intake as well as eating breakfast in students.
Methods In this cross-sectional web-based study, all
students of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences in Iran
who attended course classes were invited to participate in
the study. Five hundred forty-one students filled out the
web-based questionnaire which included questions related
to measurement of happiness, breakfast, fruit and
vegetable consumption and socio-economic and demo-
graphic information. Analysis of covariance was used to
assess the relationship between happiness and breakfast,
fruit and vegetable consumption by adjustments for
Results Measure of happiness was positively associated
with eating breakfast, number of meals eaten daily and the
amount of fruit and vegetable consumption (Pvalues were
\0.001, 0.008, 0.02, and 0.045 respectively). Students who
ate breakfast every day, more than 8 servings of fruit and
vegetables daily, and had 3 meals in addition to 1–2 snacks
per day had the highest happiness score.
Conclusion Healthier behavior pattern was associated
with higher happiness scores among medical students.
Keywords Happiness Breakfast Fruit and vegetable
Nutrition Life satisfaction Diet
During the recent decades, happiness and psychological
wellbeing have been among the most attractive issues for
researchers in the fields of social sciences [1] and health [2].
It is widely acknowledged that psychological factors may
play an important role in physical performance, and mental
health positively affects physical wellbeing [3]. According
to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is a state
of general physical, psychological and social wellbeing [4].
Happiness can predict longevity among healthy people
though this is not true for those who are sick. While hap-
piness cannot treat severe disease, it may protect people
against becoming sick. In other words, happiness strongly
affects longevity in healthy population. The size of effect is
comparable to being a smoker or not [3].
&Asghar Mohammadpoorasl
Azadeh Lesani
Maryam Javadi
Jabiz Modaresi Esfeh
Ali Fakhari
Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Health, Qazvin
University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Tabriz
University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, Tabriz
University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz 14711, Iran
Children Growth Research Center, Qazvin University of
Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran
Department of Public Health, Alborz University of Medical
Sciences, Karaj, Iran
Clinical Psychiatry Research Center, Tabriz University of
Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
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DOI 10.1007/s40519-016-0261-0
Happiness can improve the function of the immune
system [5]. Several studies have shown that happiness
might be affected by numerous factors such as: family and
friend relationships, exercise, food quality (highly nutri-
tious foods), recreational activities [2] religion [6], gov-
ernment [7], health, age, social status genetics [8,9],
employment, education [10] and the lack of stress in the
last 6 months [11].
Nutrition plays a major role in physical [12] and mental
health [13] and breakfast consumption is one of the key
components of healthy nutrition. It is well associated with
less body mass index (BMI) and skipping breakfast is a
common behavior among overweight and obese people.
Furthermore, breakfast consumption can positively affect
cognitive function, particularly memory. In addition,
breakfast eating is associated with less depression [14].
Several studies have reported that eating fruit and veg-
etables containing considerable amounts of antioxidants
[15], can protect against acute illnesses such as coronary
heart disease and cancer [16]. Some researchers have found
a positive association between lower risks of depression
and higher intake of antioxidants [17]. Previous research
has shown that diet quality among Iranian young people
[18,19] has changed as they consume fewer amounts of
some micro- nutrients and eat more carbohydrate or fat
[20]. Additionally, thinness tendency is on rise as a body
image style preferred by females. People who have positive
body image perception will follow a healthier diet in
competition with others [19]. Therefore nutrition education
strategies may be required to promote diet quality espe-
cially among young [21] and adolescent [18].
In an international research Iranian happiness has been
reported to be 5.3. This is lower than the highest score of
happiness (8.2) which belongs to Danes [7]. Many studies
have evaluated the state of happiness and its related factors,
including cultural, economic, educational and social factors
in different age groups in Iran; however, the association
between breakfast, fruit and vegetable consumption and
happiness has not been investigated yet.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the rela-
tionships between happiness and fruit and vegetable intake
as well as eating breakfast in a group of students in Qazvin
University of Medical Sciences.
In this cross-sectional web-based study, a questionnaire
was created to assess the relationship between happiness
and breakfast, fruit and vegetable consumption among the
students. All of the questions were based on scientific lit-
erature and expert opinions which have been used in other
studies previously. In order to assess the content validity of
the questionnaire, it was sent to 5 content experts, 6 experts
in methodology and development of the questionnaire and
10 lay experts (nutrition advisors and students) with a
response form to comment on clarity and relevancy of
questions. After receiving responses and revising the
questionnaire the final questionnaire was designed in
Google Drive. Then a few students (n=26) were asked to
fill out the web-based questionnaire for feasibility
approving. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the
Qazvin University of Medical Sciences (QUMS) approved
the study protocol and the related questionnaire.
All students of Qazvin University of Medical Sciences
in Iran who had course class were invited to participate in
the study. The total number of invited students was 1086.
Participation was voluntary and anonymous. After prepar-
ing the class list the researchers had a meeting with each
class in order to explain the purposes of the study. An
informed consent was received from all of the interested
participants. Then, the students’ email addresses were
obtained and papers containing the link address of the
questionnaire were delivered to them. The link address was
also emailed to the students on the same day and a
reminder was sent to the students for the following
3 weeks. The questionnaire consisted from the following
parts: demographic characteristics, health status, stress
experience in the past 6 months, weight, height, breakfast
intake, food pattern, fruit consumption, vegetable con-
sumption, physical activity (RAPA: The Rapid Assessment
of Physical Activity), socio-economic questions (household
income and assets) and Oxford Happiness Questionnaire
(OHQ). It took 15–20 min to complete the questionnaires.
All participants were encouraged to provide honest
responses [22].
Happiness was measured by Oxford Happiness Ques-
tionnaire (OHQ), which contains 29 statements to be ran-
ged from 1 ‘‘strongly disagree’’ to 6 ‘‘strongly agree’’. A
few examples of these items are ‘‘Life is good,’’ and ‘‘I am
well satisfied about everything in my life’’. Happiness
score ranges from 29 to 174, where higher scores indicate a
higher level of happiness. The reliability and validity of
this questionnaire among university students in Iran have
been confirmed by Liaghatdar [23].
Breakfast eating was assessed by a breakfast survey for
students which included 10 questions. In this self-report
questionnaire the participants were asked about their fre-
quency of breakfast consumption per week, the reasons for
skipping breakfast and the consequences they faced when
they didn’t have breakfast. In addition, it was inquired
whether the students had any snack in the morning and, if
the answer was positive they were asked about its content.
Food habits were assessed by two questions. The first
question was ‘how many meals and snacks do you usually
eat in a day?’ responses were categorized as ‘3 meals ?2
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snacks’,’ 3 meals ?one snack’, ‘3 meals’, ‘2 meals (in-
cluding breakfast)’, ‘2 meals (but not breakfast) and ‘one
meal’. The second question was a multiple choice one:
’which of following meals and snacks are your usual food
habits?’’ Responses were categorized as breakfast, morning
snack, lunch, afternoon snack, evening snack, dinner, late
night snack.
Fruit consumption was measured by two questions:
‘How many days of week do you usually eat fruit? Answers
were scored from 0 (never eat fruit) to 7 days a week. Then
a serving of fresh, canned fruit and juice fruit were
explained and the participants were asked ‘in a day that you
consume fruit, how many servings of fruit do you usually
eat?’ and the responses were categorized as ‘less than 1
serving’, ‘1–2 serving’, ‘2–3 serving’, ‘3–4 serving’ and’
more than 5 servings’.
Vegetable consumption was measured by two questions.
The first question was: ‘How many days of week do you
usually eat vegetable?’’ The answers were scored from 0
(don’t eat any vegetable in a usual week) to 7 days a week.
Then after explaining a serving of fresh, canned veg-
etable and juice vegetable, the second question was asked
as follows: ‘On a day when you eat vegetables, how many
serves of vegetables do you usually eat?’ and the responses
were categorized as ‘less than 1 serving’, ‘1–2 serving’,
‘2–3 serving’, ‘3–4 serving’,’ more than 5 servings’.
Physical activity was measured by RAPA [22]. This is a
9-item, self-administered questionnaire regarding current
levels of physical activity. RAPA evaluates a wide range of
physical activity levels, from sedentary to vigorous activity
and assesses the number of reported days of moderate
activity (for at least 30 min) and vigorous activity (for at
least 20 min), as well as strength and flexibility training.
Each question has a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ option. The total score of
the first seven items are out of 7; participants choose the
question corresponding to their activity level. Any score
less than 6 is considered suboptimal. Strength training and
flexibility are scored separately (strength training =1,
flexibility =2, both =3).
A principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to
measure socioeconomic status of the students based on the
information collected about the household income and
assets. Based on the PCA results, the students were clas-
sified into three SES groups being high, middle, and low
socioeconomic status.
Analysis of covariance was used to assess the relation-
ship between happiness and breakfast, fruit and vegeta-
bles consumption and adjustments were made for BMI,
marital status, socio-economic status, physical activity,
experience of stress in the last 6 months and having a
defined disease. SPSS 22 software was used for statistical
Out of a total of 1086 students, 541 participated in the
study and filled out the web-based questionnaire (49.82 %
response rate). The mean and standard deviation of the
participants’ age were 24.14 ±4.88 (the range was
18–46 years old). Four hundred and three students
(75.4 %) were female and 138 (25.5 %) were male. The
mean of happiness score was 114.59 ±18.31 (min 44, max
157). Table 1shows frequency of demographic character-
istics and key variables of the students.
Table 2shows the adjusted mean of the happiness score
by breakfast, fruit and vegetables consumption. As it is
depicted in this table, after adjustment for BMI, mari-
tal status, socio-economic status, physical activity, expe-
rience of stress in the last 6 months and having a defined
disease, happiness scores were statistically different in
various categories including the number of meals eaten
daily, breakfast eating, fruit consumption and
vegetable consumption.
Table 1 Demographic and key variables of students
Variable n%
Male 138 25.6
Female 403 74.4
Marital status
Single 456 84.3
Married 85 15.7
Socio-economic status
Low 134 24.8
Medium 271 50.2
High 135 25.0
Body mass index
Low weight 56 10.4
Normal 387 71.5
Over weight 83 15.3
Obesity 15 2.8
Physical activity
Sedentary 39 7.2
Light and regular activity 128 23.7
Insufficient activity 151 27.9
Sufficient activity 223 41.2
Stress experience in the last 6 months
Yes 368 68.0
No 173 32.0
Having a defined disease
No 505 93.3
Yes 36 6.7
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This study revealed a significant association between
happiness and breakfast, fruit and vegetable consumption.
Many studies have examined the association between
negative emotions and food intake. Furthermore, a number
of laboratory studies have shown that negative emotions
may result in increased consumption of high fat and high
sugar snacks as well as a tendency for consuming snacks
rather than meals [24] and a decreased consumption of fruit
and vegetables [25]. Similar results have been reported in
cross-sectional surveys [26].However, few studies have
examined the relationship between positive affect and food
consumption [27] or the possibility of bidirectionality of
this relationship. Biochemical studies have suggested that
foods high in carbohydrate cause a raise in brain serotonin
level which contributes to feeling well and happy [28].
Certain micronutrients found in fruit and vegetables might
ameliorate symptoms of depression in less than 10 weeks
when used in conjunction with antidepressant drugs [29]. It
has been reported that flavonols present in fruit and veg-
etables [30] and docosahexaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty
acid) [31] can improve cognitive function which may
improve mood.
In the present study happiness was associated with eat-
ing breakfast in students. Those who used to eat breakfast
constantly (7 days a week) were the happiest, while those
who never had breakfast gained the lowest scores for
happiness. These findings are in harmony with those
reported among Chilean students [32] though these stu-
dents were divided into two groups while in our study the
subjects had been put into 4 different groups regarding
their frequency of eating breakfast (never, sometimes,
often or always). Smith et al. have shown that consumption
of three different types of breakfast with coffee can cause
increased heart rate, better mood and improved cognitive
memory and recall [33]. Breakfast is defined as the first
meal eaten before 10 am or 2 h after waking up and it
should contain about 20–35 percent of daily calorie
expenditure. According to nutritionist it is a critical energy
Table 2 Adjusted means of
happiness score by number of
meals eaten daily, breakfast
eating, fruits consumption and
vegetable consumption
Variable n% Mean
Standard error Pvalue
Number of meals eaten daily
3 Meals and 1–2 snakes 149 27.5 118.33 1.41 0.008
3 Meals 115 21.3 115.74 1.60
2 Meals involve breakfast 52 9.6 113.33 2.37
2 Meals except breakfast 71 13.1 110.97 2.03
1 Meal 154 28.5 112.22 1.38
Breakfast eating
Never 39 7.2 103.76 2.71 \0.001
Sometimes 57 10.5 110.86 2.26
Often 139 25.7 113.81 1.44
Always 306 56.6 117.01 0.96
Fruits consumption (per day)
\1 Serving 35 6.5 112.00 2.99 0.020
1 Serving 339 62.7 113.12 0.94
2–3 Serving 76 14.0 116.99 1.99
[3 serving 91 16.8 119.03 1.84
Vegetables consumption (per day)
\1 Serving 123 22.7 113.52 1.59 0.045
1 Serving 279 51.6 113.52 1.03
2–3 Serving 114 21.1 116.52 1.63
[3 Serving 25 4.6 122.96 3.54
Mean adjusted for BMI, marital status, socio-economic status, physical activity, experience of stress in
the last 6 months and having a defined disease
Bonferroni test showed that 3 meals and 1–2 snakes had significant difference with 2 meals except
breakfast and 1 meal (P\0.05)
Bonferroni test showed that had Never eater significant difference with often and always eater (P\0.05)
Bonferroni test showed that 1 serving consumption per day had significant difference with more than 3
serving (P\0.05)
Bonferroni test showed that 1 serving consumption per day had significant difference with more than
3serving (P\0.05)
Eat Weight Disord
supply for the brain as the brain relies mainly on glucose
[14,34] Studies have shown that breakfast omission will
cause fatigue and disturbance in concentration required for
daily tasks, as well as a negative impact on learning and
memory [14]. Better physical health, doing daily activities
more energetically, better academic performance,
improved learning and getting higher scores are factors
which result from breakfast consumption all of which may
affect the students’ happiness. On the other hand, some
surveys have shown that in the majority of people happi-
ness causes healthier eating behaviors. Thus, the relation-
ship might be bidirectional.
Our findings clarifies that there is a significant rela-
tionship between the numbers of daily meals and happi-
ness. Those who had 3 meals and 1–2 snacks per day
were the happiest while a decrease in the number of meal
and snack intake would lead to lower happiness scores. In
addition, students who had skipped their breakfast, having
only 2 main meals per day, and those who had only one
meal a day, had the lowest level of happiness. Among
those who had only consumed 2 meals a day, those who
had skipped breakfast had lower scores of happiness than
those who had eaten breakfast and had skipped another
meal and this association was statistically significant. This
shows a correlation between the two variables yet, it does
not clarify whether positive emotions promote a healthier
diet or healthy eating patterns leads to more positive
feelings. Piqueras’s study in Chile has revealed that daily
lunch and breakfast consumption is significantly associ-
ated with happiness [32]. Moreover, some studies have
shown that skipping meals, especially breakfast, is asso-
ciated with the risk of overweight and obesity in children
[35] and adults [14]. This can also cause accumulation of
fat in the abdominal area which increases the risk of
metabolic syndrome [36]. Finally, skipping meals has
been reported to be associated with increased appetite
[34]. There is some evidence that a direct relationship
exists between depression and missing breakfast [37].
Glucose is the main energy supply for the brain. Thus,
more frequent meal intake provides the brain with a more
constant energy source which will affect a person’s
physical and mental health. Previous studies support a
significant relationship between physical and mental
health with happiness.
Our results showed a significant association between
daily fruit and vegetable consumption and happiness.
Students who consumed 4 servings or more from each
group gained the highest scores for happiness. A 30 day
online survey showed that more daily fruit and veg-
etable intake could improve positive emotions which led to
a better mood [38]. The results from a study performed in
Chili are in agreement with our findings apart from the fact
that in that study, consuming more than 5 servings of each
of these food groups a day was accompanied by more
happiness [32]. Similar results have been reported by
Blanch flower [39]. In another study which has been car-
ried out among Iranian youth, significant relationship
between happiness and daily fruit and vegetable consump-
tion was observed [40]. Eating more fruit and vegeta-
bles (more than usual amounts) leads to feeling calmer,
happier and more energetic and these positive emotions
will last until the next day. The daily recommended intake
for fruit and vegetables is about 7–8 servings. It has been
approved that fruit and vegetables are rich in fiber, various
types of vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants. As a
result, these food items may play a role in food-mood
relationship [41]. Another study has shown that people who
eat more fruit and vegetables are happier, more satisfied
with their lives and less depressed [42]. There is some
evidence that more consumption of fruit and vegetables is
associated with increased curiosity, more creativity and
feeling more prosperous which can improve the quality of
life among youth [43]. A higher blood antioxidant level is
associated with significantly more optimism [44]. Fruit and
vegetables contain some beneficial nutrients and an asso-
ciation has been reported to exist between lack of some of
these items, such as group B vitamins, especially folic acid,
and depression which is caused by a reduction in access to
s-adenosine methionine. S-adenosine methionine is
required for reduction of methyl a critical component in
production of myelin, neurotransmitters and phospholipid
membrane [45]. Various surveys have found a relationship
between fruit and vegetable consumption and physical
health. This is because consuming these healthy food items
may result in weight maintenance or weight loss in over-
weight or obese people and a better regulation of blood
sugar, blood lipids and blood pressure all of which can
reduce the risk of various diseases and deaths caused by
them [46]. Thus, physical and mental health of individuals
who eat more fruit and vegetables may be protected. Pre-
vious studies have confirmed that not only there is a rela-
tionship between these two variables but also happiness
can strengthen positive behavioral patterns such as healthy
There are several limitations to be noted regarding this
study. This has been a web-based study. Students should
have had access to the internet in order to read and com-
plete the questionnaire and also net speed played an
important role in successfully saving the data. A great
number of student complained that they had completed the
form but had failed to send the completed questionnaire
due to a limited internet speed. Moreover, 50 percent of the
student community did not participate in this study and its
possible impact on the results of the study shouldn’t be
overlooked. Moreover, this study was a cross-sectional one
which is another limitation of this research.
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Happiness was positively correlated with having breakfast
on most days of the week, consuming more daily meals (3
meals and snacks) and eating more fruit and vegetables (a
total of 8 serving or more). Although a considerable
number of researchers have studied the relationship
between happiness and fruit and vegetable intake among
adolescents, young people and adults in different countries
few studies have examined the relationship between hap-
piness and the number of meals eaten daily. Previous
studies have emphasized that people with higher happiness
scores or more positive feelings tend to follow a healthier
lifestyle. It is also probable that healthier food choices
promote positive emotions and happiness through provid-
ing essential micronutrients for the body. Similarly, nutri-
tion education programs may lead to improvement in
mental and physical health.
Acknowledgments This article is a main part of M.Sc thesis sup-
ported by Qazvin University of Medical Sciences. We would like to
thank Deputy of Research and Technology of Qazvin University of
Medical Sciences. We also wish to thank all of the students for their
valuable collaboration with this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest The authors declare that there are no conflicts
of interests.
Ethical approval The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the
Qazvin University of Medical Sciences (QUMS) approved the study
protocol and the related questionnaire.
Informed consent Informed consent was obtained from all partic-
ipants in the study.
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Eat Weight Disord
... Regarding diet, HRQoL has been associated with diet-related factors such as diet quality [5], dietary patterns [6,7], malnutrition [8], Mediterranean diet [9,10], fruit and vegetable consumption [11], and food purchasing motivations [12]. Additionally, previous studies have demonstrated that poor diet quality characterized by high fat and sugar as well as insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables, was a contributing factor to reduced HRQoL [13][14][15][16]. Furthermore, depression, as one domain to determine psychological illhealth in HRQoL, has been associated with HRQoL [17]. ...
... For example, large consumptions of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids from vegetables, fish, and shellfish have been shown to help lead to increasing the production of serotonin of the brain [15]. Additionally, green leafy vegetables were determined to include high levels of antioxidants that protect the nervous system from free radical damage [14,15,30]. In this regard, a higher intake of vegetables and fruits have been indicated to be associated with higher HRQoL scores [14], reduced rates of depression [31], and lower levels of stress [32]. ...
... Additionally, green leafy vegetables were determined to include high levels of antioxidants that protect the nervous system from free radical damage [14,15,30]. In this regard, a higher intake of vegetables and fruits have been indicated to be associated with higher HRQoL scores [14], reduced rates of depression [31], and lower levels of stress [32]. Besides, not only "vegetables" but also "fish and shellfish" were shown to be substantially related to a decreased association with depression [11,33]. ...
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This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the associations between food groups and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The data of 14,979 participants in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2016 and 2018 were examined. The HRQoL was assessed with EuroQol-5 Dimension. The 24-h recall test was used to examine the dietary intake of food groups. Males and females accounted for 13.79% and 21.62% of the low HRQoL groups. The males in the lowest tertile of the “vegetables” and “fish and shellfish” food groups were more likely to have a low HRQoL (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.25 (1.05–1.65), 1.45 (1.12–1.89), respectively) than those in the highest tertile, whereas those in the lowest tertile of the “cereal and grain products” were less likely to have a low HRQoL (OR (95% CI) = 0.69 (0.52–0.91)). The females in the lowest tertile of the “vegetables” food group were more likely to have a low HRQoL (OR (95% CI) = 1.56 (1.17–3.01)) than those in the highest tertile. After adjusting for confounders indagated with not only dietary but also non-dietary factors such as stress, we found that low HRQoL was significantly associated with food groups of “vegetables”, “fish and shellfish”, and “cereal and grain products” among males and of “vegetables” among females.
... In the short term, it boosts the energy and concentration, while in the long run, it can help to better control the weight and lower chances of developing heart disease (Lesani, Mohammadpoorasl, Javadi, Esfeh, & Fakhari, 2016). [10] Although though breakfast has numerous advantages for your health and wellness, many individuals frequently miss it for a number of reasons. Individuals who miss breakfast are more likely to struggle with concentration by midday and to perform worse intellectually. ...
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The objective of this study was to experimentally evaluate children's daily food memory and eating habits. The study found that the gender and school location had an impact on the nutritional condition of primary school students as well as the school food scheme. The investigations were based on three hypotheses and three research questions. In this study, the Eating Habits and Daily Dietary Recall Scale was the tool utilized to gather data (EPDDRS). Four experts—three from the department of vocational education and one lecturer in test and measurement evaluation—validated the instrument's face. The dependability indices of EPDDRS were calculated using Cronbach's Alpha. While delivering the instruments, the researcher used the direct administration and retrieval approach. 58 instructors and a sample size of 1240 students were selected using a systematic random selection approach. The obtained data was examined using mean and standard deviation to address the research objectives, and the null hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) at the 0.05 level of significance. The main conclusions of this study were that the school meal program had a favorable impact on the students' nutritional status. Also, a balanced ration of nutrient-dense meals that were suitably varied was supplied for the students via the school food program. Also, the findings revealed a substantial difference in the mean assessments of male and female students about their eating patterns. On the school meal program's dietary recall list, students from high, middle, and low socioeconomic status differ significantly. Recommendations were given to the government, schools, and parents based on the study's findings. The study's shortcomings were discussed, and recommendations for more research were made.
... Consistently, results from earlier studies show that healthy eating, speci cally food rich in fruit and vegetables reduces the chances of contracting food related diseases and enhances happiness of individuals [54][55][56]. Similarly, evidence show a positive relationship between food and happiness [57], indicating that eating a healthy food adds to one's happiness. Thus, there is a positive relationship between healthy eating and happiness indicating that nutritional behaviour in uences happiness and for that matter, older adults [58]. ...
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Background Social determinants of health [SDOH] and happiness have received meaningful consideration as foundational concepts in the field of public health. However, the relationship between the SDOH and happiness of older adults have not received the requisite recognition in Ghana. This study examined the relationship between the SDOH and happiness of older adults in Ghana. Methods The study used data from the 2014/2015 Ghana Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) Wave 2. Data was analysed using the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique to investigate the direct, indirect and covariances of the SDOH and happiness of older adults. Results The results showed positive relationship between the SDOH and happiness among older adults. The economic stability (β = 0.07), neighbourhood and built environment (β = 0.02, P < 0.001), access to quality education (β = 0.56, P < 0.01), access to healthy food (β = 0.48, P < 0.001) social and community context (β = 0.41, P < 0.05), and access to quality healthcare (β = 0.80, P < 0.001) had direct relationship with happiness of the older adults in Ghana. Conclusion This study shows that the conditions in which older adults were born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age (SDOH) positively impact their happiness in later life. Neighbourhood and physical environment influence the effect of quality education on happiness of older adults. Social policies and interventions aiming at happiness of older adults should consider the social determinants of health and the mediating effects of food on happiness through quality education, and quality of healthcare system.
... 23 Lesani, et al showed that breakfast frequency and happiness are positively correlated in college students. 24 Many studies have shown that medical students have poor diets 25 despite awareness of the importance of healthy eating habits. 26,27 Despite this, there is very little research on the effect of diet on the well-being of medical students. ...
Background Due to its nutritious, metabolic, and overall energy-providing benefits, studies have emphasized the value of breakfast, resulting in support of breakfast as “the most important meal of the day,” and subsequently, essential for academic success. However, limited research exists on the impact of habitual breakfast consumption on medical students. How does eating breakfast contribute to the academic success and well-being of medical students? Methods A voluntary survey was distributed to preclinical medical students to gather information on their breakfast-eating habits as well as other indicators of well-being, including mental health, physical health, and stress. Participants indicated the average number of times per week they consumed breakfast. They also recorded the likelihood of eating breakfast on the day of an exam and various components of well-being on a five-point Likert scale. Subjects also provided student identification (ID) numbers. To measure academic success, grade point averages (GPAs) were then extracted using each student's ID number. A correlation analysis was performed between the breakfast-eating habits of medical students and their GPA. Results 121 surveys met the inclusion criteria. A correlation analysis showed that frequency of eating breakfast was positively correlated with GPA (r=0.35, p<0.001). Eating breakfast on the day of an exam was also positively correlated with GPA (r=0.32, p<0.001). Eating breakfast had no significant correlation with indices of well-being. Conclusion Consistently eating breakfast may contribute to greater academic performance among medical students. However, eating breakfast appears to have no impact on well-being. Based on this research, eating breakfast regularly may help preclinical medical students boost their academic performance.
... A teaching event, such as "Eat This!", may be suitable to improve the dietary behaviors and lifestyle of medical students, which may lead to further improvements in individual well-being and enhance the personal and professional success of future physicians; studies have shown that healthier lifestyles, high self-efficacy, and self-perceived competence lead to increased well-being [59][60][61]. Another advantage of increasing education in nutritional medicine could be the possible resulting increase in nutritional counseling. ...
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Nutrition is a major influential factor in optimizing human health and environmental sustainability. Medical students often do not follow national dietary guideline recommendations. Raising awareness of a healthy lifestyle is important as physicians with healthy lifestyle behaviors are more likely to counsel on nutrition. Our study aims to evaluate a Germany-wide online lecture series on nutritional medicine, “Eat This!”. Before and after the course, 520 medical students who participated and 64 who did not participate in the course (comparison group) filled out an online survey. To assess the students’ dietary habits, a validated FFQ was used. According to this questionnaire, only 31% of the lecture participants consumed enough fruits and 24% consumed enough vegetables, while almost half of the students exceeded the recommended maximum amount of crisps and sweets. After attending the lecture series, guideline adherence with respect to fruits and vegetables showed a significant increase, as did awareness of healthy nutrition and percentage of students with low-risk lifestyle habits. Our results show that low-threshold approaches, such as “Eat This!”, can positively influence the dietary behaviors and lifestyle habits of medical students. This can help future doctors fulfill their role in the fight against the global burden of non-communicable diseases.
... One study found a positive association of diet quality with positive emotional state, but no association with negative emotional state [72]. Studies using questionnaires reported unhealthy diets to be associated with bad mental well-being [52,73,74], as well as healthy diets to be associated with good mental well-being [52,[74][75][76][77]. ...
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University students are at risk of experiencing mental health problems during the transition from home to university. This transition can also adversely affect their diet quality. This review aims to examine bidirectional associations from observational studies regarding the influence of diet quality on the mental health of university students, and vice versa. The databases PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, The Cochrane Library and Web of Science were searched using relevant search terms. The searches were last updated on 15 July 2022. Majority of studies (36 out of 45) found that good diet quality of students was associated with better mental health in terms of depression, anxiety, stress and overall general mental well-being. Moreover, majority of studies (19 out of 23) found that stress and anxiety of students were associated with poorer diet quality. The effect sizes observed were generally small–moderate. Healthy diets of students have been associated with better mental health in terms of depression, anxiety, stress or other mental health issues. Stress experienced by university students has been associated with unhealthy diets. There are implications for health education research, as interventions to improve diet quality at the university level could reduce mental health issues; additionally, interventions to support students under stress may lead to healthier dietary habits when living on campuses. Randomized controlled trials and intervention studies are needed to further investigate these implications.
We investigated the extent to which adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) in combination with Mediterranean lifestyle factors influenced students’ perceptions of subjective well-being (SWB) and distress. 939 undergraduates completed a survey to assess sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics, including adherence to the MD, depression, anxiety, stress, and SWB. Data were analysed with correlation, logistic, and multiple linear regression models. Higher adherence to MD correlated with better SWB. Fruit, red meat, sweet and caffeinated beverages contributed significantly. However, it was the combination of adherence to MD with other factors, including quality of social relationships, income, smoking, sleep, and physical activity that better predicted SWB. Our results confirm the positive influence of MD on SWB. However, they also suggest the need to consider perceptions of well-being by a more holistic approach that considers physical and social factors simultaneously to improve the development of more effective educational and motivational programmes.
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There has been a growing tendency to use humanistic and utopian goals in the naming and framing of education policies. The case of the Happiness Education Policy (HEP) in South Korea is illustrative and demonstrates the potential of such framing, combined with references to external authorities, to neutralise domestic opposition and generate support from diverse national stakeholders. The HEP focuses on nurturing ‘happy human capital’ for the future through education initiatives such as the Free Semester/Year Initiative, character education, STEAM-based curriculum, and software education. Through an analysis of a corpus of policy documents and press releases, this article demonstrates how happiness, as a floating signifier, has been redefined in ways that align and support the different sociotechnical imaginaries envisioned by political regimes over the past decade which depart from its humanistic focus.
Background and aims Previous studies have reported a high prevalence of mental disorders among military organizations. Depression and anxiety are among the most important mental disorders, and depression, suicidal ideation, and violence have been found to be negatively associated with happiness and social support. Therefore, improving mood and increasing happiness can reduce the prevalence of mental disorders in military centers. Diet can improve happiness through specific molecular mechanisms and change our mood by affecting the chemical composition of the brain. Therefore, the present study examined the relationship between the quality and quantity of macronutrients in soldiers' diets with their mood and happiness. Methods In the current cross-sectional study, 300 healthy soldiers were selected. Food intake data was collected using 168-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire during the last year of their military training 2-year period. Then, we calculated the quality and quantity of macronutrients. Mood was assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire and happiness with the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ). Results The mean ± standard deviation of participants' age was 23.70 ± 1.76 years. A significant relationship was observed between mood score and carbohydrate quantity (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.12-0.88, P-value for trend = 0.03). This suggests that increasing carbohydrate intake improved the participants’ mood. No association was found between mood score with protein quantity (OR: 2.15, 95% CI: 0.80-5.75; P-value for trend = 0.12), and gram of fat intake (OR: 1.95, 95% CI: 0.74-5.13; P-value for trend = 0.15). None of the indicators related to macronutrient quality were significantly associated with happiness and mood scores in young soldiers (P ≥0.05). Conclusions Findings presented in this study showed that increased carbohydrate intake was significantly associated with better mood. However, mood is not related to the amount of proteins and fats and none of the parameters of macronutrient quality. Also, there was no significant relationship between the quantity and quality of macronutrients with happiness score.
Since Alec D. Banghamâ's discovery of liposomes in 1965, the application of lipid vessels has been widely utilized in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, agricultural, food, and nutraceutical sectors to encapsulate lipophilic and hydrophilic bioactives. Liposome-based formulations can be an ideal technique to deliver lipophilic bioactives, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Before commercialization, it is important to understand the consumers' perceptions and adoption behavior. This is because the consumer's inclination toward buying functional food products is based on their purchasing indention, and the roles of age, education level, mindset, and current health condition. For instance, consumers with a low educational level may be reluctant to consume functional foods, while consumers visiting a gym regularly are more supportive of functional food products. Thus, well-being is gaining attention among marketing, sensory, and consumer research teams of the food sector to understand the consumers' eating patterns. This chapter demonstrates the consumers' inclination toward functional food products, challenges of the conventional entrapment techniques, and the application of liposomes in functional food products.
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Reproductive years represent a major proportion of women‟s life. This review focuses on recommended nutritional considerations, physical activity pattern as well as the effect of nutrition education (NE) on behavior modification and health outcomes of women of reproductive age using either single-level, multiple-level or community-level interventions. For this narrative review, numerous searches were conducted on databases of PubMed, Science Direct and Google Scholar search engine using the keywords women, reproductive age, NE, interventions, community-based. Even though single intervention is effective, multiple intervention programmes in addition to behavior modification components are even more successful in terms of modified behaviors and health outcomes. Moreover, community based interventions using multilevel strategies are further useful for improved health outcomes and behavior modification. NE programmes have been effective in positive behavior modification measured in terms of eating pattern and health quality. Thus, it is recommended that health professionals use multiple intervention strategies at community level to ensure improved outcomes. Political support is also required to create culturally sensitive methods of delivering nutritional programmes. Finally, as policy is dependent on program cost, nutritional programmes need to combine methods of cost analysis to show cost effectiveness of supplying adequate nutrition for women throughout the lifecycle.
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Traditional studies of health behaviors are typically conducted using one-shot, cross-sectional surveys. Thus, participants' recall bias may undermine the reliability and validity of the data. To capture mood changes and health behaviors in everyday life, we designed an online survey platform, ClickDiary, which helped collect more complete information for comprehensive data analyses. We aim to understand whether daily mood changes are related to one's personal characteristics, demographic factors, and daily health behaviors. The ClickDiary program uses a Web-based platform to collect data on participants' health behaviors and their social-contact networks. The name ClickDiary comes from the platform's interface, which is designed to allow the users to respond to most of the survey questions simply by clicking on the options provided. Participants were recruited from the general population and came from various backgrounds. To keep the participants motivated and interested, the ClickDiary program included a random drawing for rewards. We used descriptive statistics and the multilevel proportional-odds mixed model for our analysis. We selected 130 participants who had completed at least 30 days of ClickDiary entries from May 1 to October 31, 2014 as our sample for the study. According to the results of the multilevel proportional-odds mixed model, a person tended to be in a better mood on a given day if he or she ate more fruits and vegetables, took in more sugary drinks, ate more fried foods, showed no cold symptoms, slept better, exercised longer, and traveled farther away from home. In addition, participants were generally in a better mood during the weekend than on weekdays. Sleeping well, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising longer each day all appear to put one in a better mood. With the online ClickDiary survey, which reduces the recall biases that are common in traditional one-shot surveys, we were able to collect and analyze the daily variations of each subject's health behaviors and mood status.
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Role of diet on colorectal cancer (CRC) has been considered in terms of single foods and nutrients, but less frequently in terms of dietary patterns in Iran. The objective of this study was to determine the association between Iranian dietary patterns and CRC. This case-control study was conducted in four hospitals in Tabriz City of Iran including 414 participants aged 35-75 years:207 cases with CRC confirmed by pathology and colonoscopy findings were selected and 207 controls free of neoplastic conditions and diet-related chronic diseases (from the same hospital at the same period for the cases). Dietary data were assessed using a 123-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Two dietary patterns were found by using of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) method;"Healthy pattern"and "Iranian pattern". Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) for relationship between dietary patterns and colorectal cancer. After adjusting for confounding factors, the Iranian dietary pattern was significantly associated with an increased odds of colorectal cancer (OR= 1.46; 95% Confidenec Interval (CI)=1.05-2.19) while a reduced odds of colorectal cancer was observed with the Healthy dietary pattern (OR=0.18; 95% CI= 0.091-0.47). Iranian dietary pattern (IDP) seems to increase the odds of colorectal cancer and protective effect of Healthy dietary pattern.
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It is estimated that disease burden due to low fruit and vegetable consumption is higher in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union (FSU) than any other parts of the world. However, no large scale studies have investigated the association between fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake and mortality in these regions yet. The Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) study is a prospective cohort study with participants recruited from the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. Dietary data was collected using food frequency questionnaire. Mortality data was ascertained through linkage with death registers. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios were calculated by Cox regression models. Among 19,333 disease-free participants at baseline, 1314 died over the mean follow-up of 7.1 years. After multivariable adjustment, we found statistically significant inverse association between cohort-specific quartiles of F&V intake and stroke mortality: the highest vs lowest quartile hazard ratio (HR) was 0.52 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28-0.98). For total mortality, significant interaction (p = 0.008) between F&V intake and smoking was found. The associations were statistically significant in smokers, with HR 0.70 (0.53-0.91, p for trend: 0.011) for total mortality, and 0.62 (0.40-0.97, p for trend: 0.037) for cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. The association was appeared to be mediated by blood pressure, and F&V intake explained a considerable proportion of the mortality differences between the Czech and Russian cohorts. Our results suggest that increasing F&V intake may reduce CVD mortality in CEE and FSU, particularly among smokers and hypertensive individuals. © The European Society of Cardiology 2015 Reprints and permissions:
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Purpose: Recent studies have shown that body image perception is an important factor in weight management and can be influenced by several social or cultural factors in Western or non-Western societies; however, body image perception and its nutritional and demographic determinants in Iran have not been extensively studied. In the current study, we aimed to evaluate body image perception and its socio-demographic and nutritional determinants among female university students in Tabriz City of Iran. Methods: In the current cross-sectional survey, 184 female students aged 18-35 years from Tabriz, Iran, were enrolled. Anthropometric variables including weight, height, waist and hip circumference were measured and body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Body image perception and distortion were assessed by Figure Rating Scale (FRS) developed by Stunkard consisting of nine silhouettes. Nutrition intake was assessed by a 3-day 24-h dietary recall method and analyzed by Nutritionist IV software. Results: Most of the participants in the underweight (41.66 %), normal weight (67.71 %) and overweight (57.14 %) categories of BMI selected the thinnest figure as their desirable or ideal body image perception. The total prevalences of body image dissatisfaction and distortion were 51.63 % and 64.13 %, respectively. Subjects who had undistorted body image perception consumed more time for physical activity and had more night sleeping hours compared with others (P < 0.05). Subjects who perceived themselves as being of normal weight had significantly lower intake of total fat and saturated fatty acids and higher intakes of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) compared with other groups (P < 0.05). Conclusions: According to our findings, female participants had a higher tendency to consider thinness as the preferred body image style. Persons with undistorted body image perception had healthy nutritional status compared with others. Due to high prevalence of body image dissatisfaction, the need for appropriate interventional programs to prevent the associated co-morbidities is emphasized.
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Happiness is one of the most important factors affecting women's mental health. Several factors contribute to happiness in different societies. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of happiness in married women and its related factors. This was a cross-sectional study with stratified sampling proportional to different age groups of married women in selected health centers (based on socioeconomic status). Subjects were 379 married women. The Oxford Happiness Inventory (scale: 0-87) was used to measure happiness. The Enrich Marital Satisfaction Inventory including 47 questions (scale: 47-235) and demographic information questionnaires were also used. Descriptive statistics, correlation, T-test, One-way ANOVA and Regression were used to analyze data. The mean of happiness was 45.11 ± 14.40. Marital satisfaction was 164.68 ± 28.33 and 64% of the participants had a relative marital satisfaction. Univariate analysis of happiness showed significant effects of husband and wife education, husband job, economic status, stress in past six months, marital satisfaction and having social activates, but was not statistically significant for other factors (P < 0.05). Adjusting for the confounding effect of other variables, multiple linear regressions showed significant association of happiness with marital satisfaction, economic status and social activity. Regarding lower level of happiness of married women in Shahroud comparing to some other studies in Iran and abroad, leisure time programs, training life skills especially stress management skills, increasing marital satisfaction and improving economic status should be considered.
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We systematically reviewed 12 epidemiological studies to determine whether an association exists between diet quality and patterns and mental health in children and adolescents; 9 explored the relationship using diet as the exposure, and 3 used mental health as the exposure. We found evidence of a significant, cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health in children and adolescents. We observed a consistent trend for the relationship between good-quality diet and better mental health and some evidence for the reverse. When including only the 7 studies deemed to be of high methodological quality, all but 1 of these trends remained. Findings highlight the potential importance of the relationship between dietary patterns or quality and mental health early in the life span.
... Development of the Rapid Assessment of Physical Activity instrument. Items for the Rapid Assessment of Physical ... For a measure to be of value as an assessment tool, it needs to show ... The 2002 BRFSS questions (seven items) on physical activity (8) and the PACE (eight items ...
Happiness and well-being are often defined as internal feelings or states of satisfaction. As such, research on well-being has focused on the long-term happiness and life satisfaction of individuals. But recently, psychological researchers have also begun to examine the effects that group-level functions (e.g., nation-level economic status) have on happiness. The present article: (a) overviews measures of individual and collective happiness and the validity of these measurements; (b) explicates the role of culture in understanding the long-term happiness and life satisfaction of individuals; and (c) explores the possibility and importance of studying the happiness of collectives (e.g., work groups, organizations, cities, nations). We then discuss future directions for happiness research, proposing several methodological and theoretical areas for progress in: (a) cross-temporal analyses to examine historical changes; and (b) multilevel analyses to identify the units of culture that affect happiness. Additionally, this paper argues that policy-making and interdisciplinary approaches can make important contributions to happiness studies.
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.