Health halo effect: Why you should never order the salad at a fast food outlet | Brain Fodder
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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.
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.
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.
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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 c...
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 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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The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.
When you only eat real food and avoid all unhealthy food, you’re more likely than not going to run a caloric deficit – and thus lose weight.
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