It's winter in the time of coronavirus and for many of us that means seeking joy in comfort foods - especially takeaway foods. But just how happy does that pizza or curry or burger really make you?
Quite a lot, according to German food ordering company Lieferando.at. The company commissioned a Brief Mood Introspection Study (BMIS) among more 2158 people, measuring the intensity of positive emotions before ordering takeaway food and after eating it, with a highest score possible of 400. It found - no surprise, surely - that ordering any kind of meal increased happiness by 52 per cent.
The BMIS scale rates the intensity of positive emotions, such as happiness and liveliness, before adding them together to create an overall "happiness" score out of a possible 400 for each takeaway cuisine studied.
Participants recorded an average BMIS score of 142 before eating, which was used as a baseline throughout purposes, to see how much happiness levels increased after eating each of the 11 different takeaway foods.
Indian cuisine was found to increase happiness most, by 83 per cent. Apparently vibrant spices such as turmeric can be mood boosters, increasing dopamine levels.
Sushi came second with a 73 per cent increase (BMIS from 142 to 246), followed by burgers in third place with a 70 per cent increase. Then came Thai (64 per cent), Chinese (58 per cent), pizza (52 per cent), schnitzel (50 per cent), fried chicken (48 per cent), kebab (27 per cent), Mexican (24 per cent), and, finally, in 11th place, fish and chips (18 per cent).
- More information: lieferando.at
If you want to try this out for yourself, here are some Canberra suggestions for the different cuisines, though obviously we all have our own favourites. Which foods make you feel happy (and/or guilty)?
Indian: Jewel of India, Manuka. jewelofindia.com.au.
Chicken tikka and tandoori lamb cutlets are among the favourites at this long-established Indian restaurant, one of the survivors in a place where restaurants seem to either last a long time or die fairly quickly.
Sushi: Okami, Mawson. okamirestaurant.com.au.
As well as a la carte and takeaway, this Japanese restaurant has an all-you-can-eat menu: you have two hours to indulge in such dishes as sushi, tempura prawns, chicken teriyaki and udon noodle soup.
Burgers: Milky Lane, Braddon. milkylane.co.
There are lots of burger joints in Canberra but this one includes such items as the Kevin Bacon and the Chic-Kanye. Among the desserts is a deep-fried Golden Gaytime.
Thai: Kinn Thai, Canberra City. kinnrestaurant.com.au.
There are lunch, dinner and set menus here with temptations like chilli jam soft shell crabs, orange duck and crispy barramundi fillet.
Chinese: Flavours of Jiangnan, Dickson. flavours-of-jiangnan.
Offerings here include an array of dumplings and stir fried pork tripe with green hot pepper.
Pizza: Mama Dough, Ainslie. mamadough.com.au.
As well as many of the usual suspects, the "unusuals" here include pork and potato and eggplant parmigiana pizzas.
Schnitzel: The Bavarian, Belconnen and Woden. thebavarians.com.
Schnitzels here include salt and vinegar, mushroom parma and the G&P (with a garlic and parmesan rub).
Fried chicken: Grease Monkey, Braddon and Gungahlin. greasys.com.au.
The chicken can be accompanied by mash and gravy or coleslaw, among other sides. The Detroit pizzas and burgers are also recommended.
Kebabs: Alaras Turkish Pide House, Dickson. alarasturkishpidehouse.com.
There are the standard kebab fillings and there's an even wider choice of pide.
Mexican: Beach Burrito, Canberra City. beachburritocompany.com.
Menu items here include Baja fish tacos and Tiki prawn salads as well as the old standby, nachos.
Fish and chips: Flatheads, O'Connor. flatheadstakeaway.com.au.
As well as the classics like the fisherman's basket there are oysters, panko prawns and pizzas and burgers here.
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