Skepticism Needed When Buying Foods Labeled 'Healthy': Expert

Sep/10/2013

HealthDay News -- Clever food labeling can fool well-intentioned consumers into believing that foods labeled sugar-free, fat-free or whole-wheat are healthy choices, a dietitian says.

"Consumer food marketing can be extremely persuasive, and the right buzzword on a package can lure a shopper into making an unwise purchase," Kari Kooi, a registered dietitian at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, said in a hospital news release. "We need to educate consumers on how to read nutrition labels so they can avoid falling prey to the 'health halo' effect."

Studies have shown that this "health halo" effect leads some people to eat twice as much or more of these foods because they are marketed as healthy, she says.

Five foods Kooi recommends avoiding are:

More information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about nutrition.

 

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