Killer Cultures: Discovering the Effects of Culture on One's Personal Happiness

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Research Paper Final Outline: Title: Killer Cultures Thesis: In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert travels to three different countries, discovering the effects of culture on one’s personal happiness and well-being. I. TS#1: During her four months spent in Italy, Gilbert explored the impact of food on one’s health and overall happiness. A. Detail 1: Healthy food/diet will increase happiness B. Detail 2: Ingredients in traditional Italian foods are mood boosters C. Detail 3: Depression rates in Italy vs. America II. TS#2: After leaving Italy, Elizabeth traveled to India, researching the effects of prayer and religion. A. Detail 1: Effects of religion on happiness B. Detail 2: Healing effects of religion C. Detail 3: Depression…show more content…
During her four months spent in Italy, Gilbert explored the impacts of food on one’s health and overall happiness. Pasta, the staple meal and often the symbol of Italy, is a so-called “comfort food” – foods that provide consolation or a feeling of well-being, often high in sugar and carbohydrates. The American depression rate is approximately 9.6%, a significantly greater amount than Italy’s 3.8%. Important to note is Italy’s Mediterranean diet, high in fish and shellfish, which are both high in a fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential building block for the brain structure. According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is a link between DHA deficiency and an increase in the prevalence of depression in the United States. One’s diet has a huge influence on their happiness and well-being; perhaps if Americans had a more balanced diets, our nation’s depression rate would show a decrease. After leaving Italy, Elizabeth Gilbert traveled to India, researching the effects of prayer and religion. Through practicing yoga and meditating in an ashram, to common activities that are a big part of the Indian culture, she reached spiritual enlightenment and created a better relationship with God. According to Stephanie Papps’ “8 Ways Religion Impacts Your Life,” religious people tend to be happier than non-believers. In 2010, the Journal of Clinical

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