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Hearty parties can be good for your health, study shows

Photo: FilippoBacci/iStockphoto

Eat, drink – and celebrate your guests’ successes – and you may be throwing a party that improves people’s health and well-being.

That’s the finding of a recent study by researchers from Indiana University, the University of Connecticut and Duke University. After surveying thousands of people over several years, the researchers found that celebrations featuring food and/or drinks with a side of recognition can boost feelings of social support.

The folks whose achievements are cheered experience a sense of confidence and belonging that’s associated with increased lifespan, decreased anxiety and depression, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, better quality sleep, and other positive health outcomes.

The researchers add that celebrations – even virtual ones – can boost the health and well-being of all attendees, as long as the element of feeling socially supported is there.


“For example, take the time to congratulate someone for getting accepted to their first-choice university, or a work project that went well, or a new job offer,” said Kelley Gullo Wight, study co-author and an assistant professor in the IU Kelley School of Business. “This will maximize the benefits to your well-being and the well-being of all the attendees.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

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