Study Concludes That Pasta Makes You Happier

by Peter Candia

It doesn’t take a scientist to conclude that pasta makes everything better, but one lab decided they would provide concrete proof anyway. The Behavioral and Brain Lab at the Free University of Languages and Communication IULM in Milan conducted a study to conclude whether eating pasta could improve one’s mood. 

Not only were their results positive, but they even included that eating a bowl of your favorite pasta produces similarly positive emotions to hearing your favorite song. 

According to Food & Wine, IULM recruited 40 participants with ages ranging from 25 to 55. They then measured their physical and neurological changes as they ate bowls of pasta—specifically their favorite types. Comparatively, IULM also measured the neurological and physical changes that occurred during listening to their favorite music or watching their favorite sporting teams. 


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Not only did the pasta emotionally keep up, but it outperformed music and sports on cognitive memory practices—meaning that as they ate the pasta, their ability to recall specific parts of it improved. Similarly, pasta outperformed on the positive emotions front. Studying each participant’s facial expressions, pasta produced the best results. 

Vincenzo Russo, a Professor of Consumer Psychology and Neuromarketing at IULM, concluded that pasta inhibits emotionally active results, “Through this study, science has put itself at the service of emotions to certify that pasta and happiness are one,” he states. “The results tell us that it is precisely when we eat pasta that we are most emotionally active. It is, therefore, the real act of tasting and savoring the dish in its full flavor to stimulate the most positive memories and emotions.”

It’s important to note that this research has not been peer-reviewed. However, it can still provide a good baseline for one thing I consider an absolute truth: you should never feel bad about eating more pasta. 

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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