The proliferation of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it

Jacob Suher, study author

Health specialists have warned that low-calorie foods, like cereal bars and yoghurts, are “invariably fake” and might be fuelling the problem.

Scientists behind the latest study, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, believe people order greater portion sizes when something is labelled “healthy”.

Study author Jacob Suher said: “The findings suggest the proliferation of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it.

"Consumers can use this knowledge to avoid overeating foods presented as healthy and to seek foods portrayed as nourishing when they want to feel full without overeating.”

Diet specialist Zoe Harcombe said: “Things that are seen as healthy, according to the NHS, are low in calories.

“Foods low in calories are invariably fake and higher in carbohydrates than fat.

“Fat is more satiating than carbohydrates and therefore food seen as healthy, wrongly, is less filling so people may have developed an association between ‘healthy’ and ‘less filling’.”

About sixty per cent of adults are now overweight, with obesity costing the NHS about £7billion a year.

The proliferation of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it

Jacob Suher, study author

Health specialists have warned that low-calorie foods, like cereal bars and yoghurts, are “invariably fake” and might be fuelling the problem.

Scientists behind the latest study, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, believe people order greater portion sizes when something is labelled “healthy”.

Study author Jacob Suher said: “The findings suggest the proliferation of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it.

"Consumers can use this knowledge to avoid overeating foods presented as healthy and to seek foods portrayed as nourishing when they want to feel full without overeating.”

Diet specialist Zoe Harcombe said: “Things that are seen as healthy, according to the NHS, are low in calories.

“Foods low in calories are invariably fake and higher in carbohydrates than fat.

“Fat is more satiating than carbohydrates and therefore food seen as healthy, wrongly, is less filling so people may have developed an association between ‘healthy’ and ‘less filling’.”

About sixty per cent of adults are now overweight, with obesity costing the NHS about £7billion a year.

Health Foods Make Us Eat Far More

 

Millions of us mistakenly believe wholesome food is less filling and gorge ourselves on bigger portions.

Despite billions of pounds spent encouraging people to try healthier alternatives, overeating remains one of the main causes of obesity.

Now a study has suggested nutritious food could be adding to the crisis as people devour more in the belief it will do no harm.

Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin, US, found people eat more wholesome food because they associate “healthy” with meaning less filling.

Health specialists have warned that low-calorie foods, like cereal bars and yoghurts, are “invariably fake” and might be fuelling the problem.

Scientists behind the latest study, published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, believe people order greater portion sizes when something is labelled “healthy”.

Study author Jacob Suher said: “The findings suggest the proliferation of healthy food labels may be ironically contributing to the obesity epidemic rather than reducing it.

"Consumers can use this knowledge to avoid overeating foods presented as healthy and to seek foods portrayed as nourishing when they want to feel full without overeating.”

Diet specialist Zoe Harcombe said: “Things that are seen as healthy, according to the NHS, are low in calories.

“Foods low in calories are invariably fake and higher in carbohydrates than fat.

“Fat is more satiating than carbohydrates and therefore food seen as healthy, wrongly, is less filling so people may have developed an association between ‘healthy’ and ‘less filling’.”

About sixty per cent of adults are now overweight, with obesity costing the NHS about £7billion a year.

Figures show record numbers are receiving disability benefits because eating disorders have left them unable to work.

The number claiming up to £110 a week in incapacity benefit is now 2,640, meaning taxpayers are forking out as much as £15million a year.

Estimates suggest about 725,000 people in the UK now suffer from some form of eating disorder.