Beware of the Bias “Healthy Food = Less Satiety” When You Eat

Foods are consistently labeled as “healthy” to help consumers make better dietary decisions, but this trend may actually be counterproductive. Recent research shows that most people think of healthy foods as less satisfying, so they consume larger portions to make up for that.

A study by doctoral student Jacob Sucher at the University of Texas at Austin and recently published in the Journal of the Consumer Research Association suggests that healthy food choices are undermined when you choose to eat too much healthy food. Not only may you get stuck thinking “this salad will not satisfy me”, but you may also think “this salad is good for me, so I can eat as much as I want.” Plus, research suggests that due to the same bias, you may feel hungry faster after eating a healthy meal. All of these can lead to overeating, despite the fact that you have chosen healthy foods. To counteract this bias, the researchers recommend changing the way you think. Emphasize the nutritional aspects of your truly healthy foods to dispel the belief that they are less satisfying. If you are completely sure that it is feeding you, you will probably be less inclined to eat too much of it.

Eating healthy foods or feeling empty? How the intuition “Healthy = less satiated” affects satiety | Consumer Research Association Journal via PsyBlog


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