When you think of a food item as "healthy", it's much easier to eat a lot of it, right?
For example, most of us moderate our beef intake, because we know that it's high in calories and saturated fat. But when it comes to fruits and veggies, it's hard to eat less, because they have been labeled as "healthy". We fail to think about the calories, nutritional value, sugar, and fat content!
Well, according to a study published by the Journal of Marketing Research
, companies are using that mindset to make you eat more food than you should!
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Health food manufacturers brand their foodstuffs as "healthy", labeling items with the "fitness" moniker. The result: you buy and eat more!
In the sturdy, 81 participants were given a package of food labeled "trail mix". The other half received a package of the same stuff, but it was labeled "Fitness mix". The "Fitness mix" had a picture of running shoes on the package.
Those on a strict diet ended up eating 200 calories MORE of the "Fitness mix" than their "trail mix" counterparts. According to the author of the study, "Fitness-cued foods are compatible with restrained eaters’ long-term goals." Simply put, you end up eating more because you THINK the foods are compatible with your diet, even if they're really not.
Next time you reach for a "fitness food", pause to think about it. Is it really different from other foods? What makes it so "fitness-friendly"? Don't let yourself be fooled by clever packaging or branding! Limit yourself to only eating the same amount as you would other less healthy foods, and stick to that diet.