Healthy Eating: Food Trends
The Biggest Health Food Scams of 2011
Image: Corbis Images
Food marketing is a powerful thing. The right buzzword on a label or a convincing ad campaign can be enough to cause a run on acai berries, almond milk, or whatever else they’re selling. Because it’s natural! And fresh! And gluten-free! And delicious! And packed with fiber! And made with honey! You get the idea. The scary thing is that these claims sometimes work better than we think. In a recent study, participants who were asked to compare conventional and organic foods described organic cookies, potato chips, and yogurt as being tastier, higher in fiber, and lower in calories and fat, even though the foods in the two groups were identical. This “halo effect” (what is this?) that leads consumers to blindly believe a food is more nutritious than others is all too common, and it was in full force this year. From “fresh” fast food to all-natural Fritos, there were plenty of misleading “health foods” on the market in 2011, but no amount of spin can change the fact that these edibles are anything but wholesome. Here’s a look at 15 of the most deceiving items in stores and restaurants, and the facts about what’s really being sold.
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