The health halo: how good PR is misleading shoppers
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Don’t let your guard down when you see items labeled with healthy-sounding terms and don’t assume there is a correlation between things without proof. Know what you are eating by paying close attention to the nutritional information and, just as importantly, the recommended serving size.
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.
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We don’t have complete control of our decision-making because we take mental shortcuts, using inbuilt biases which are supposed to improve the efficiency of our choices and actions.
It’s when people overestimate the healthiness of a food item because of unwarranted correlations. Research indicates that this effect causes people to consume larger portions and may even be a cause of obesity.
A study comparing the two restaurants found that those who ate at Subway underestimated the calories in their meals more than those who ate at McDonald's.
Because Subway sandwiches are considered healthier, people are more likely to add a cookie and a soda. While people who eat at McDonald's are not under the health-halo so they’re less likely to order sides with a Big Mac.
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Much of the research suggesting that breakfast is essential for health is funded by cereal makers.
Companies like Kellogg, Quaker Oats and others whose businesses depend on p...
There’s no clear evidence that breakfast consumption promotes weight loss or that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain.
It might actually be a bad strategy for weight loss because eating breakfasts means taking in a higher number of calories/day.
...is not backed up by research.
It is possible for breakfast to have health benefits, especially for some groups (growing children and athletes), but there’s not a lot of good evidence behind those benefits.
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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 info...
Protein bars are perceived as having an increased protein content and as healthier overall when the label reads “protein bar“ and “good source of protein. ”
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.
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