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It is difficult for consumers to differentiate and make healthy choices between products when there is a wide variation in serving sizes and nutritional values. So, increasing the amount of information will not help.
The best way to tackle it is for writers, companies and consumers to ensure that people can understand the context and the information already existing on their labels.
A ‘health halo’ occurs when a single health buzzword or claim causes a consumer to have other unsubstantiated positive impressions of the product.
Health halos in food advertising take the form of short messages on food packaging about the health benefits of an item. Product labels containing the words ‘low fat’, ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ are perceived as healthy choices and influence consumer purchasing behaviors.
... like ‘protein’, ‘paleo’ and ‘organic’ are used in marketing as key selling points for many of today’s health products. Yet these words can also trick consumers into believing a product is healthier than it really is.
Inaccurate health messages can be dangerous as they don’t help to educate consumers to make informed choices and are often in conflict with credible, accurate health information.
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Happens when we overestimate the healthfulness of an item based on a single claim, such as being low in calories or low in fat.
This halo effect makes us more comfortable to eat more than we otherwise would if a product is promoted as low in fat or calories.