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A recent study found food shoppers to be commonly misled by labels containing health-related buzzwords.
The study, titled “Truth, Lies, and Packaging: How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health,” was conducted at the University of Houston and published in Food Studies. It involved 318 participants, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Researchers showed subjects a variety of product labels, including those of Smuckers Peanut Butter (which claims to be all natural) and Chocolate Cheerios (which claim to be heart healthy), both with and without the buzzwords. Participants were then asked to estimate the nutritional value of the products based on what they saw.
As you might have suspected, consumers proved gullible to the food marketers.
“Saying Cherry 7-Up contains antioxidants is misleading,” said lead researcher Temple Northup, as reported by NewsmaxHealth. He continued, saying that even though that may be true, it doesn’t mean that Cherry 7-Up is healthy. “It’s mostly filled with high fructose syrup or sugar.”
Hopefully, his research will serve as a wakeup call to consumers, and motivate them to look beyond the deceiving buzzwords on the box.