Health Insider Update


Healthy Food Labels Lead to Overeating

Healthy Food Labels Lead to Overeating
January 03
14:32 2016

Despite its intention to help people eat healthier and live a well-balanced life, food labeling could actually be adding to the obesity crisis the United States currently faces.

A new study found that people assume food labeled as healthy is less filling than unhealthy food, and therefore consume more of it, taking in more calories than normal. The study was conducted by the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Many believe that eating too much healthy food will not have a negative impact on their weight the way excessively eating fatty food would, although they are mistaken.

The study involved three test groups, one to determine how participants viewed the relationship between healthy foods and feeling full, the second measured levels of hunger after eating a healthy cookie and an unhealthy cookie. Finally, the third research group measured how much the food labeling impacted the amount of food ordered.

Results of the study showed that foods labeled as healthy encouraged participants to eat more. Participants ordered larger portions of food when the food was labeled healthy, and overall ate more than the unhealthy food participants. In the second group, those who ate the healthy cookie reported higher levels of hunger than those who consumed the unhealthy cookie, meaning the notion that healthy foods are not filling is alive and well according to this study.

Based on this study, researchers have suggested consumers should look for both healthy and nourishing foods, instead of feeling like they’re depriving themselves by eating healthy, which could lead to overeating and weight gain.



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Mina Sinai

Mina Sinai

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