Health Food Shouldn’t Be Branded ‘Healthy’

Health Food Shouldn’t Be Branded ‘Healthy’Health Food Shouldn’t Be Branded ‘Healthy’

Calling a food healthy can actually put people off eating it, researchers have warned.

Instead, scientists found people respond better to healthy symbols, CBS News reported.

Symbols that signify that something is healthy – rather seeing the word ‘healthy’ itself – make people more likely to pick a nutritious snack, according to a new study.

“The word ‘healthy’ seems to turn people off, particularly when it appears on foods that are obviously healthy,” said Dr Traci Mann of the University of Minnesota, who led the research.

Subtle health messages, such as the healthy heart symbol, seemed to be more effective at leading people to choose a healthy option.

Scientists from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, conducted field and lab experiments to see how people responded to framing healthy food options.

One of the studies entailed 400 adult participants in a lab setting.

Researchers found 65% of the adults took an apple, instead of a candy, if the heart healthy symbol was on the sign.

But, only 45% took an apple if the word ‘healthy’ was printed on the sign.

Another study involved 300 adults – and carrots.

Scientists found that 20% took carrots – instead of chips – if a sign said the word ‘healthy.’ And, 30% took carrots if the sign had a heart healthy symbol.

Furthermore, scientists looked at the patterns of eating in elementary school.

They found that children were four times as likely to eat broccoli or red peppers if the vegetable was served first.

In comparison, they were far less likely to eat the vegetables if they were served alongside other food offerings.

The study’s findings were presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 17th Annual Convention in San Diego.