Is Health Food Making You Fat?

Healthy foods are good for us, but there's a weird way they might be making you fat!

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Obesity has become an epidemic in the U.S. with as much as two thirds of women and three quarters of US men overweight or obese. One detail from the study discussed here is particularly troubling: authored by the a,a, shows that foods marketed as fitness, diet, or healthy options can lead to overconsumption and actually reduce consumers' motivation to exercise.

The study examined the eating and exercise patterns of so-called "restrained" eaters, who are chronically concerned about their body weight and image. Participants were allowed to choose between two bags of trail mix, one labelled simply "Trail Mix", while the other was labelled "Fitness Trail Mix", with an image of running shoes on the package. They were given eight minutes to eat and then give their opinions on their choice. Overwhelmingly, participants who chose the "Fitness" mix ate more, compared to those who ate the other.

Often, "diet" foods are mores unhealthy than their non-diet counterparts. Food producers try to make a "diet" food have less fat, but often add way more sugar and sodium to make it taste better. So, don't be fooled by a pair of running shoes, a happy sun, or pictures of happy, rugged hikers: Always read nutrition facts and the ingredient list of foods before you buy, and remember: eat less of the real thing than to eat more of a processed clone.

Learn More:
'Fitness' foods may cause consumers to eat more, exercise less (Science Daily)
"According to a new study, such "fitness branding" encourages consumers to eat more of those foods and to exercise less, potentially undermining their efforts to lose or control their weight."

Obese Americans now outnumber those who are merely overweight, study says (LA Times)
"Americans have reached a weighty milestone: Adults who are obese now outnumber those who are merely overweight, according to a new report in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine."

12 Supposedly Healthy Cereals With More Sugar Than A Doughnut (Buzzfeed)
"Sugar should be only 5% of your daily calorie intake, according to the World Health Organization. For a healthy adult, that comes out to about 25 grams of sugar."