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Health food SHOULDN'T be branded as 'healthy

Calling a food healthy can actually put people off eating it, researchers have warned.

Instead, scientists found people far respond better to healthy symbols.

Symbols that signify that something is healthy – rather seeing than the word 'healthy' itself – make people more likely to pick a nutritious snack, according to a new study.

'The word 'healthy' seems to turn people off, particularly when it appears on foods that are obviously healthy,' said Dr Traci Mann, who led the research.

'The subtle health message, such as the healthy heart symbol, seemed to be more effective at leading people to choose a healthy option.'


Scientists conducted field and lab experiments to see how people responded to framing healthy food options.

One of the studies entailed 400 adult participants in a lab setting.

The researchers found 65 per cent of the adults took an apple, instead of a candy, if the heart healthy symbol was on the sign.

Another study involved 300 adults – and carrots.

The scientists found that 20 per cent took carrots – instead of chips – if a sign said the word 'healthy.'

And, 30 per cent took carrots if the sign had a heart healthy symbol.

They found that children were four times as likely to eat broccoli or red peppers if the vegetable was served first.

In comparison, they were far less likely to eat the vegetables if they were served alongside other food offerings.

In that study, researchers found dieters are much more likely to choose unhealthy snacks after being told that the foods are bad for them.

Source: Daily mail