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Are ‘fitness’ labels on food making you fat?

Are ‘fitness’ labels on food making you fat?

Recent research has suggested that labels on fitness foods may actually be causing weight gain to occur.

In a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research it has been suggested that “fitness branding” may encourage people to eat more while exercising less, which is a dangerous combination that will not only ruin any weight loss effort but will probably cause weight gain too.

What did the study entail?

During the study 150 volunteers who were already weight-conscious were given a bag of trail mix (a combination of dried fruit, nuts, and sometimes chocolate), with half the bags labelled with the word “fitness” along with an image of a trainer.

The other half of the bags of trail mix were plainly labelled with the words “trail mix”.

The volunteers were given 8 minutes to snack before being given the option to exercise on a stationary bike as vigorously as they would like.

What were the results of the study?

At the conclusion of the study those who were given the “fitness” branded trail mix consumed an extra 60 calories on average, while also being shown to have burnt fewer calories during exercise too.

Dr. Holly Phillips speaking to CBS This Morning had this to say about the study results:

“Marketing foods and branding them as ‘fitness‘ and ‘active‘ and ‘health‘ is a really popular sales strategy.”

“In part it comes down to what we call the ‘health halo,’ where we tend to over-indulge and take in more calories if we feel the snacks are healthy.”

“But to me it also kind of exposed this insidious way that labelling gives people who are trying to lose weight a false sense of security.”

“Just because it says ‘gluten-free‘ or ‘organic‘ or ‘healthy‘ it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have sugar and fat.”

Final thoughts

Just because you think that a product is healthy this may not necessarily be true. Often these “healthy” foods contain hidden sugars and fats that you really should be trying to avoid.

If I were you I would try to resist the temptation of these types of food. Instead try and eat healthy whole foods, for example plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of protein-rich meat such as chicken and turkey.

I guarantee that you will soon start to feel better once you start eating better.

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