Health halo effect: Why you should never order the salad at a fast food outlet | Brain Fodder
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.
We often use these shortcuts when deciding what to eat. For instance, we might decide that a food is healthy because it’s labeled as natural, organic, ‘low-fat’ or ‘low-calorie, when in fact these terms can be deliberately misleading.
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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.
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.
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.
These pre-portioned packages usually contain little to no nutritional value, and people often eat more than one.
Instead, prepare your own 150 calorie snack by combining almonds and your favorite dried fruit for a good combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.
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.