Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green food labels make nutrition-poor food seem healthy

Date:
March 12, 2013
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Green calorie labels may lead people to see nutrition-poor foods in a healthier light. A researcher says consumers are more likely to perceive a candy bar as more healthful when it has a green calorie label compared with when it had a red one – even though the number of calories are the same.

Green calorie labels may lead people to see nutrition-poor foods in a healthier light.

Related Articles


A Cornell researcher says in the current issue of the journal Health Communication that consumers are more likely to perceive a candy bar as more healthful when it has a green calorie label compared with when it had a red one -- even though the number of calories are the same. And green labels increase perceived healthfulness of foods, especially among consumers who place high importance on healthy eating.

"More and more, calorie labels are popping up on the front of food packaging, including the wrappers of sugary snacks like candy bars. And currently, there's little oversight of these labels," said Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication and director of Cornell's Social Cognition and Communication Lab. "Our research suggests that the color of calorie labels may have an effect on whether people perceive the food as healthy, over and above the actual nutritional information conveyed by the label, such as calorie content."

Schuldt asked 93 university students to imagine that they were hungry and see a candy bar while waiting in a grocery checkout lane. The students were then shown an image of a candy bar with either a red or a green calorie label. Schuldt asked them whether the candy bar, compared to others, contains more or fewer calories and how healthy it is. The students perceived the green-labeled bar as more healthful than the red one, even though the calorie content was the same.

Schuldt repeated the experiment with 39 online participants who were shown candy with either green or white labels. The participants were asked to what extent the healthiness of food is an important factor in their decision about which foods to buy and eat, on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 7 (very important).

The more importance the participants placed on healthy eating, the more they perceived the white-labeled candy bar as less healthful -- a pattern that was eliminated when the candy bar had a green label.

"The green calorie labels buffer relatively poor nutrition foods from appearing less healthful among those especially concerned with healthy eating," Schuldt said. The study has implications for nutrition labeling, given that front-of-package calorie labels have become increasingly common in the food marketplace in the United States and Europe. For example, M&Ms and Snickers have green front-of-package calorie flags that are particularly conspicuous to consumers at points-of-purchase.

"As government organizations including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration consider developing a uniform front-of-package labeling system for the U.S. marketplace, these findings suggest that the design and color of the labels may deserve as much attention as the nutritional information they convey," Schuldt said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonathon P. Schuldt. Does Green Mean Healthy? Nutrition Label Color Affects Perceptions of Healthfulness. Health Communication, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2012.725270

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Green food labels make nutrition-poor food seem healthy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134452.htm>.
Cornell University. (2013, March 12). Green food labels make nutrition-poor food seem healthy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134452.htm
Cornell University. "Green food labels make nutrition-poor food seem healthy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134452.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins