Food and Behaviour Research

Donate Log In

1 May 2010 - EatingWell.com - Captain of the Happier Meal

by Rachael Moeller Gorman

Joe Hibbeln, M.D., believes our diet is making us depressed, addicted and violent. He thinks he's found a simple solution.

New Science Links Food and Happiness

Joe Hibbeln maneuvers his small blue Mazda 626 around traffic on a wide boulevard in Bethesda, Maryland.

“How many people,” he shouts over the noise from the open window, “even Miss America, say ‘I want to make the world a happier place’?” He turns the wheel sharply to the left. “Well, I’m doin’ it!  I’m zeroing in on a nutritional deficiency that makes the world an unhappy place.”

Hibbeln, a captain in the United States Public Health Service, one of the country’s seven uniformed services (“army of the Surgeon General,” says Hibbeln), is talking about omega-3 fatty acids. He has, in fact, devoted his entire career to studying the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are best known for their heart-health benefits. He loves them. He loves the fish they come from.