Hidden keys to health

Three underlying factors can influence positive eating habits

Living a healthy lifestyle goes well beyond having the willpower to order a salad instead of fries. According to new research from the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index—based on more than 177,000 interviews with American adults last year—three unseen factors influence positive eating habits:

Surrounding yourself with supportive, health-conscious people. The index found a strong link between healthy eating habits and three measures of social support—having someone who encourages you to be healthy; having friends and family who give you positive energy; and having a tight relationship with a spouse, partner or close friend.

Finding the right career. A working theory is that having a strong sense of purpose gives you a reason to eat well and live your best possible life.

Straightening out your finances. If you have enough money that you’re not worried about maintaining your standard of living or saving for retirement, you’re spared a source of long-term stress and, therefore, more likely to make sound dietary decisions.