Get a Real Healthy Halo - Deepstash
Get a Real Healthy Halo

Get a Real Healthy Halo

  • Avoid fast food.
  • Stay away from high-fat preparation methods (fried, deep-fried, batter-dipped, breaded, crispy, etc. )
  • Stick to your calorie consumption goal.
  • Cut condiments like mayo, sauces and dressings
  • Watch what you put on the side – avoid high-fat sides like fries and choose undressed salad instead.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Health halo effect: Why you should never order the salad at a fast food outlet | Brain Fodder

When Healthy Leads To More Calories

Research indicates that people don’t check the labels and assume that products marketed as healthy contain fewer calories than standard items. They see the “healthy” items as representing the less guilty option and so eat more of them.

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Subway Vs. Mcdonalds

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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What Is a Health-Halo

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. 

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Mental Shortcuts

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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RELATED IDEA

Don’t Believe Healthy Labels

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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Decreasing The Health Halo Effect

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.

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The need for food labelling

In the 19th Century, manufacturers added all kinds of unpleasant substances to processed food.

Milk sellers in the US once added chalk or dye to make their watered-down batches look more palatable. Other food companies added copper sulphate - a garden pesticide - to their tinned vegetables to make them look greener. Formaldehyde or borax was added to extend shelf life. In England, green sugary sweets were coloured with arsenic, and lead was added to red or yellow ones.

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