Healthy living for joy, not virtue

University of Washington Foster School of Business Marketing Department Faculty, Lecturers and Phd. Student group and portrait shots

Nidhi Agrawal

Eat vegetables because they taste good, not because they’re good for you. Drink green tea for its exotic evocations, not its health benefits. Exercise for the joy of movement or social connection, not to burn calories.

That’s the advice of Nidhi Agrawal, the Michael G. Foster Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, who was profiled in last week’s “Whole U” blog.

Among her studies in consumer behavior, Agrawal has examined the challenges to and opportunities for healthier living.

Noting that processed foods generally trump whole foods when it comes to marketing, she suggests that living a sustainably healthy life requires viewing health-inducing behaviors from a different perspective.

“The primary association with healthy things should not be health,” Agrawal says. “That should be incidental.”

Building a positive experience around them is what creates healthy habits in the long run.

Read the full “Whole U” post here.

Read Agrawal’s advice on keeping healthy resolutions here.