The health halo: how good PR is misleading shoppers
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.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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.
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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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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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These pre-portioned packages usually contain little to no nutritional value, and people often eat more than one.
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That doesn’t mean they are made of 100% whole grains. All 3 components (endosperm, germ, and bran) of a grain must be present for it to be classified as a whole grain.
It’s made by adding bacteria to milk, which can soothe several gastrointestinal ailments. But highly sweetened yogurts are like candy in a container instead of a valuable dose of dairy.
Opt for Greek yogurt, which is thicker in texture, and also contains double the amount of protein and less sugar than most yogurts.
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