Dieters are more likely than non-dieters to be misled by food names, a new study says.
According to researchers of the University of South Carolina, dieters give importance to name labelings of food products that they give favorable inclination that such name is more healthier than the other, i.e., names like ‘salad’ for ‘pasta’ or ‘fruit chew’ for ‘candy chew’ while non dieters give no distinctions about them.
“The fact that people’s perceptions of healthfulness vary with the name of the food item isn’t surprising. What is interesting is that dieters, who try to eat healthy and care about what they eat, fell into these ‘naming traps’ more than non-dieters who really don’t care about healthy eating,” study author Caglar Irmak, an assistant professor of marketing, said in a university news release.
Results from the study of more than 520 people suggest that dieters rely on food names to identify supposedly healthy foods, rather than reading on the provided nutritional information on the food products and restaurant menus, Irmak said.
“These results should give dieters pause. The study shows that dieters base their food decisions on the name of the food item instead of the ingredients of the item. As a result, they may eat more than what their dieting goals prescribe,” Irmak explained.