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  2. Does eating ice cream really make you happier?
Does eating ice cream really make you happier?

Does eating ice cream really make you happier?

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  • Read time: 3 min

Having a week of terrible weather when Summer rolls around is unsurprising to the average Hong Konger - we grew up bracing the various coloured Rainstorm Signals and fighting through all the numbered Typhoon Signals.

Even though we're used to it, it is inevitable that the gloomy rainy weather dampens our mood and ruins our excitement for the weekend when we know full well we'll have to stay indoors instead of drinking fresh coconuts on the beach. When I feel down, I immediately start craving for ice cream. I always attributed my craving to 23984 hours of watching chick flicks, where women would always magically find a tub of ice cream sitting in their freezer, waiting to comfort them through heartbreaks and tough times.

When I was watching the pouring rain from my window today, I suddenly craved for ice cream again, which made me wonder - is there any scientific explanation for this craving and does ice cream actually make us feel better?

Turns out, scientists have already proven that eating ice cream does make you happy! Research results show that eating ice cream lights up the same pleasure centre in the brain as winning money or listening to your favourite music. The tests were done by the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where they scanned the brains of people eating vanilla ice cream. They found an immediate effect on parts of the brain known to activate when people enjoy themselves; these include the orbitofrontal cortex, the "processing" area at the front of the brain. Don Darling of Unilever said: "This is the first time that we've been able to show that ice cream makes you happy. Just one spoonful lights up the happy zones of the brain in trials."

So if you're feeling a bit down or something isn't going your way today, do yourself a favour and help yourself to some ice cream!

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