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Simplistic health labels may not lead to healthy food choices

21st October 2015

Simplistic health labels may not lead to healthy food choices

Thinking of food in black and white terms such as ‘health’ and ‘unhealthy’ can hinder weight management by encouraging an 'all or nothing' approach to eating - so what does this mean for food labels?

Researchers from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands have found that dichotomous thinking – or thinking in binary oppositions such as 'good or bad', 'black or white', 'healthy or unhealthy', has an impact on our ability to manage weight. “Such simplified and dysfunctional thinking styles should be avoided, since they have the potential to induce a rigid response to dietary transitions, and therefore impede people’s ability to maintain a healthy body weight,” write the study authors. “It is believed that an “all or nothing” response to minor dietary transgressions may lead to temporary abandonment of the diet and overeating.” The researchers found there was 142.4% increase in the odds of regaining lost weight compared with maintaining the weight loss with each unit increase of dichotomous thinking related to eating habits. You can read the full article HERE

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