The findings of a latest study indicate that healthy buzzwords mislead people, and make them believe that they are actually healthier foods.
Researchers and experts are debating on the question of whether the food labels are actually misleading the customers. With increasing consumption of items mainly, and with people desiring healthy choices, the focus is again on food labels. However, some food processing companies have started marketing unhealthy foods as healthy, labeling them “organic”, “whole grain” or occasionally in the form of a combination of some healthy buzzwords, too.
A recent survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center suggests that around 59% of consumers check that the products they are buying are natural or not. Furthermore, a survey on Consumer Reports also indicated that around 8 out of every 10 consumers think that packaged foods with the “natural” label should come from such type of food that contains ingredients that are not artificial (87%), grown without pesticides (86%), and do not have genetically modified organisms (85%), thus strengthening a wide gap between consumer expectations and consumer reality.
A recent study published in the journal, Food Studies, highlights some pertinent questions regarding food labels. Temple Northup, the author of the study, and an assistant professor in the communications department at University of Houston, said, “Food marketers are taking advantage of them by misleading those consumers with deceptive labeling.”
Moreover, Jonathon Schuldt, an assistant professor of communications at the Cornell University, who was not engaged in the study, says, “We live in a labelled world. At the end of the day it’s still soda. If you don’t want your children consuming sugar, you shouldn’t give it to them whether it has antioxidants or not.”
The findings of the study were published in the journal “Health Communications” in 2013.
Another reason that forced Northup for this study was the fact that overeating unhealthy foods lead to several health problems including obesity. Moreover, the obese person is likely to get diabetes later on. These outcomes of the study will not only help but will also pressurize the producers to be careful on labeling.