A huge problem with “healthy foods” is that people think they can eat as much of them as they want. After all, if something is “low fat” or “whole wheat,” it’s got to be the case, right? Not the case at all.
When I’m counseling clients, one of the major things we work on together is scoping out unknown overeating. Many people struggling to slim down don’t even realize where they’re eating too much: A lot of clients tell me they only eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full, yet they still aren’t seeing results for their waistline—or their health.
I see this pattern frequently, and the culprit is often a skewed sense of what hunger and fullness really feel like. A new study, published recently in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, adds some nuance to my work with clients: In a nutshell, the Cornell University researchers found that the perception of how “healthy” a food is can influence perceived feelings of fullness.
The researchers conducted a number of tests with 50 young adult volunteers, and when foods were portrayed as healthy the study participants ordered larger portions, thought of them as less filling, and ate more. And here’s the kicker: this included people who said that they disagree with the idea that better-for-you foods aren’t as filling.
thumbnail courtesy of health.com