Research shows buzzwords on food packaging implies false sense of health

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HOUSTON, TX – With all the choices at today’s super markets, how do you decide? Some by cost, others by what’s microwavable, and even others count calories. Turns out some of our poor diet decisions might not be completely our fault. A new study from the University of Houston says food marketing might be working against us.

The study finds that buzzwords like “antioxidant,” “gluten-free” and “whole grain” are being used to lull consumers into a false sense of health.

They took this packaging and photoshopped the buzzwords out, and then asked people, which was healthier?

Professor Temple Northup from the University of Houston explains, “Everything that I tested, people always rated those brands with those buzzwords on them as being healthier… I think it’s deceptive to have misleading claims on the front of the box in really pretty font that’s really colorful and large, and expect consumers to have to go read the fine print on the back.”

So how is this not false advertising?

“In the United States there isn’t a lot of tight regulation… It’s not a false claim, what’s misleading is implying that it’s healthy,” says Northup.

A book isn’t the only thing you can’t judge by its cover. It might take you an extra 10 seconds in the aisle reading the back label, and a few more dollars at checkout, but the cost of health problems due to obesity rob you of both time and money.

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