April 29, 2010
Can ‘Organic’ Labels Backfire?
Organic snackers underestimate calories, study shows
Could organic labels lead you to overeat? These labels certainly appear to make people think their organic snack has a lot fewer calories than it really does.
"An organic label gives a food a 'health halo,' said coauthor, Brian Wansink, Cornell professor and author of the book, Marketing Nutrition. It's the same basic reason people tend to overeat any snack food that's labeled as healthy or low fat. They underestimate the calories and over-reward themselves by eating more."
The study even identified two personality types most likely to make these low estimates"” people who claim to "usually buy organic foods," and those who typically read labels for nutritional information.
What if you don't want to overeat an organic food?
"Take your best guess at its calorie count. Then double it. You'll end up being more accurate, and you'll probably eat a lot less," explained Wansink.
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