Salad Sometimes Has More Calories For Dieters
Salad is often the food of choice for dieters, but they may be consuming more calories than they think.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina and Loyola University said that dieters are more likely than non-dieters to choose unhealthy foods that are labeled as healthy.
In the study, participants were given a mixture of vegetables, pasta, salami and cheese on top of fresh romaine lettuce. When the meal was labeled as a “salad,” it was perceived healthier than when researchers labeled it “pasta.”
“Before you congratulate yourself for making a virtuous selection,” the study authors said in a statement reported by UPI, “you might want to consider whether your choice is a salad in name only.”
Dieters tend to focus on avoiding foods that they recognize as forbidden based on their names. Restaurants, however, often disguise food with healthier names.
Potato chips are labeled “veggie chips,” and milkshakes are named “smoothies.”
In another test, participants were given a product labeled either “fruit chews” or “candy chews.” Dieters consumed more when the product was called “fruit chews.”
Non-dieters do not avoid foods based on name, and are less likely to be influenced by cues that imply healthfulness.
The Journal of Consumer Research published the study.