Now Serving: the Unhappy Meal

by | March 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Food

(iStockphoto)

T. Scott Gross, Forbes.com Contributor

Are you eating food that makes you unhappy? Can food actually manipulate your mood? Yes. And yes.

I don’t know how they decide what questions to ask but my friends at BIGinsight™ have come up with a doozey for this month’s BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey.  They asked almost 9000 consumers this question: On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being “Totally unhappy” and 5 being “Totally happy,” how  would  you rate your happiness level with your health?

If you are waiting for me to whup Mickey D. or whomp on BK, you may as well get comfortable because such a statement isn’t about to come from this consumer.  Their competitors (Subway, Arby’s, and Chick-fil-A) also offer nutritionally horrendous menu items yet their customers report they are living in health nirvana. Why is that so? Because we are dealing with perceptions rather than facts. BIGinsight™ says your overall personal health perceptions aren’t directly linked to your favorite fast food chain.

Here’s the telling portion of the report.  The patrons who felt best about their health were those who exercise regularly and at least watch their caloric intake. Subway customers are the most likely (49.1%) to exercise regularly and are a happy crowd while McDonald’s customers are least likely (34.8%) to exercise and are rated the least happy of the study group.

Eating at McDonald’s isn’t going to ruin your life. It won’t even make you fat so long as you choose wisely, watch the portion sizes, and get that ever widening butt of yours off the couch!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

Forbes