“Eating yellow food makes you happy!” says yellow food promoter, via marketing scientists

Feeling blue? Key to happiness is eating yellow food

BRITONS feeling sad should eat bright yellow foods to cheer them up as new scientific research today revealed it makes us happier than any other colour.

Experts found eating yellow foods releases significant levels of happy hormones as we associate the bright colour with joy.

An overwhelming 70 per cent link sunny-coloured food to feelings of happiness and omelettes top the list of our favourite yellow foods, with 61 per cent insisting they make them cheerful.

Source: Express, 13th October 2016

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Eating yellow foods is apparently the key to happiness, according to this ‘research’ in the Daily Express. Though there are some pretty signs that this research may not be all it cracked up to be – for instance, there’s the tenuous findings:

Psychologists suggest that positive reactions from yellow are formed at an early age through the warmth of sunshine or the brightness of kids toys.

We like eating yellow foods because our childhood toys are bright? Presumably ignoring the fact that those bright toys may have been bright green, bright red, bright pink, or all manner of other colours. But apparently it’s the brightness that builds affinity with the colour yellow, whether there’s any yellow involved at all.

Then there’s the interesting take on neurology:

Yellow resonates strongly with our left or logic side of the brain which stimulates it and makes us perceive it as happy and fun.

Leaving aside any questions as to whether the left side of the brain really is logical, why would stimulating the logical parts of the brain make us see yellow as happy? And where is the evidence that yellow does indeed resonate strongly with the logical elements of our mind? These are bald assertions, presented with no justification.

Still, at least we have a neuropsychologist to explain more:

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis said: “There is lots of research to show how colour can affect our emotions, but we were surprised to discover that so many yellow food groups evoked such strong positive feelings as well as stimulating taste buds.

“The research revealed that 30 per cent more people associate yellow with happiness than the other colours tested and 62 per cent of us want to see more yellow in our fridge.”

And by a neuropsychologist, to be clear, we mean marketing scientist and Bad PR regular Dr David Lewis – and even his quote does nothing to explain any link between yellow food and happiness. Lewis claims to be surprised by the findings of the research, about the stimulating effect of the colour yellow on the tastebuds, but to be absolutely clear: no tastebuds were stimulated in the making of this story. The ‘research’ cited here is not clinical research from a neuropsychologist, it’s not even experiential research from an academic who makes a living from looking at the psychology of marketing – this is an opinion poll, asking people what food they like:

The study of 1,000 people found they were much more likely to associate yellow foods with joy and fun than other colours.

And, to really top it off, this is a survey put together by an egg company, in order to promote eggs:

The study by The Happy Egg Company found red foods are our second favourite and brown is our third, while blueberries were the least popular as the colour blue is associated with sadness.

So it’s little surprise that a company promoting eggs finds that dishes that typically contain eggs make people happiest.

Geraldine Phillips, from The Happy Egg Company, said: “With over half of us choosing to eat eggs in the morning, we had long suspected eggs help improve our mood.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to scientifically prove that sunshine yellow yolks release significant levels of happy hormones in the brain, helping everyone start their day the happy way.”

Except, Ms Phillips, you haven’t scientifically proven anything – you’ve conducted a PR exercise and published a press release. Engaging an academic to dress up your advert as science doesn’t change that, and the public ought not to be fooled.