Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Healthy Food--Perceived as Negative Calories

Time recently wrote an article on a study done at Northwestern University on people’s perceptions of food, and the belief in “negative calories.”  In the study, 934 participants in an on line study were asked to estimate the calories in images of meals.  Turns out that when they saw a cheeseburger and fries, they gave it one estimate, but when they saw the same meal with a salad, they gave that a lower estimate, thinking that the healthy food lowered the total calorie content.

The study concluded that people overeat because they underestimate the calories of a meal with some healthy food in it.  What was more interesting in the study was that participants who self-identified as dieters underestimated the calorie count by a greater margin than the non-dieters—increasing their negative calorie count.  This study indicates that until people really know how many calories they are eating, they will continue to struggle with overeating.  Yet another friendly reminder about why conscious eating and food logging matters for weight loss success.

Here is the link to the Time article http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/21/why-americans-are-fat-we-literally-see-more-food-as-less/

And here is the link to the study summary http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/News_Articles/2010/the-dieters-paradox.aspx

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful articles from http://healthland.time.com! Thanks so much and have shared this with facebook! How Many Calories Counter