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Wanna be happy? Have some ice cream

According to researchers at Ashland University in Ohio, a spoonful of the cold stuff really makes everyone happy.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2008 13:39 IST

Ice cream’s great, people have known it for years. And, now a new study has also confirmed it — a spoonful of the cold stuff really makes everyone happy.

Researchers at Ashland University in Ohio have based their findings on an analysis of food choices of 240 young adults who were asked to rate a list of 62 stuff on happiness, excitability, pleasantness, and comfort. Ice cream got the highest happiness scores followed by chocolate, cake, grapes, and pizza.

While those on the lowest happiness scores included tofu, soy, avocado and bologna, the WebMD reported. The subjects also rated each food's healthiness. “Healthiness scores indicated that the lowest ranked foods primarily consisted of snack food items, where the highest were certain fruits and vegetables (broccoli, apple, orange, carrots, grapes, and peach),” lead researcher David Vanata said.

The researchers also gave the participants a pop quiz after they finished ranking the foods. The task: Flip the page over and quickly write down as many of the listed foods as they could remember. The participants recalled significantly more of the healthy foods than the unhealthy foods.

But they weren’t particularly likely to recall the foods with high emotional scores, either in terms of the foods’ overall emotional response or happiness, excitability, pleasantness and comfort. “Emotional words were not recalled more than non-emotional words and healthy foods were recalled over unhealthy foods,” Vanata said.

First Published: Nov 03, 2008 12:29 IST