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“Healthy” Foods Can’t Be Making People Fat, Can They? They Sure Can!

December 28, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Three experiments conducted among groups of American college students have found that junk food isn’t the only culprit in the obesity epidemic. So-called “healthy” foods – as depicted on packaging and labels – can also make people fat because people generally perceive them to be less filling, and end up overeating them. When packages portray a food as healthy, consumer judgment and behavior are affected: it’s healthy, so it’s less filling. They feel less hungry after eating foods depicted as healthy because they tend to order larger portions and end up eating more. The tendency to overeat can be reversed by portraying a food as “nourishing” instead of healthy, the researchers said.
Jacob Suher et al., "Eating Healthy or Feeling Empty? How the" Healthy = Less Filling" Intuition Influences Satiety. ", The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, December 28, 2015, © Suher et al.
Food & Nutrition
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Dieting & Weight Control
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