The relation between eating and life satisfaction depends on world region, according to a new survey.

A poll made by Gallup found there was a significant relation in how populations in the world related hunger to life satisfaction, and eating healthier to life satisfaction.

A substantial portion of the world's population said they or their families had gone hungry in the past year. According to the study, in Africa 56 percent of polled people had gone hungry, while in the Americas it was 16 percent, in Asia 9 percent and in Europe 3 percent.

The survey also inquired about how the world relates hunger to life satisfaction. People in Africa relate hunger to life satisfaction less than people, the survey found.

These data do not suggest that people in Europe are hungrier, or physically suffer more, than people in Africa, according to Gallup's interpretation of the results. Instead, the hunger gap may be more pronounced in Europe because Europeans, because of their relative wealth, are more likely to take the availability of food for granted.

Finally the study tried to find whether people who said they eat healthier lived happier. The poll found people in Africa who said they ate healthier the day before reported higher levels of life satisfaction, while in Europe there was no meaningful tendency for those who said they ate healthy to report higher levels of life satisfaction.

While many people in the world are just hoping to eat, whether the world will be a happier place in 2009 than it was in 2008 may depend, in part, on people's ability to access, and perhaps to appreciate, healthy food, the study concludes.