|From A Basket Case.|
In the first study, hopeful participants ate less M&Ms than those thinking of present happiness. In the second, participants thinking of the past ate even more unhealthy snacks. In the third study, participants thought of positive emotions in the past and the future. The "future" people chose healthier food.
The study authors conclude, "So the next time you're feeling well, don't focus too much on all the good things in the past. Instead, keep that positive glow and focus on your future, especially all the good things you imagine to come. Your waistline will thank you!"
Overall, this sounds like a rather unconventional series of studies with a lot going on. The article doesn't go into much detail, but it sounds like different snacks were used in each study (M&Ms in one, unspecified candy bars in another, etc.), which could make the conclusions suspicious because of all the variables. I also hope the authors kept strict definitions of "hope," "pride," and "happiness," as these are somewhat airy concepts that participants could have defined however they wanted.