A lot of what we know about food doesn't come from nutritionists of scientists, believe it or not, it comes from marketers. As a marketer myself I can attest to the bullshit we're paid to spin about any and all products we try to sell to people and food is probably the biggest gimmick. You can see how good we are at our jobs by looking at the rate of obesity in the world.
We first sell you on how many meals you should eat, then give you a range of options not always healthy, then tell you its okay to be obese so we can keep you at optimal state of constant consuming which is great for profits.
One of the techniques we use is the health halo. This one has been an issue for me for some time now, I even wanted to do my Masters thesis on food packaging and labelling but yeah things happened and I had to walk away from it.
Image source: - zmescience.com
How the health halo works
The health halo works by slapping certain words on products that are otherwise pretty much the same in a repackaging effort using words like organic, cage-free, hormone-free, farm to table, artisanal, fresh, free-range and a host of other jargon that doesn't have much backing its all pageantry. It gives consumers the impression they are making a healthier choice when in fact they are still loading up on high-calorie foods that spike their insulin through the roof and keep them on the munching merry go round.
The health halo allows you to feel good about your choices and removes the guilt factor that comes with eating food with high sugar, carbs and salt. If I do say so myself, its a pretty well-constructed plan and whoever came up with this gimmicks, you have to give it to them, they played consumers and continue to do so every day.
When it comes to companies handling food production we have to look at the incentive structure, if there are a backlash and reduction in demand for the product, its always easier to opt for marketing and repackaging instead of re-doing the product, supply chain and processes and if the marketing keeps working, why change anything else?
What is the reason for the health halo
The health halo effect refers to the act of overestimating the healthfulness of an item based on a single claim, such as being low in calories or low in fat. Its all about clever wordplay and relying on the ignorance and impulse of customers to confuse “low fat” with “low calorie” and yet resulting in the overconsumption of certain foods.
The health halo gives you the impression you're eating healthy with a cool narrative, a few nice pictures on the box and ads to back it up and you'll be munching down all happy that you've chosen the "healthier" option.
Have your say
What do you good people of steem think? Do you fall for the health halo? Do you know or care what's in your food?
So have at it my Jessies! If you don't have something to comment, comment "I am a Jessie."
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