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The Health Halo Effect by Jennifer Loyd

I recently was told by my daughter to stop purchasing organic cookies because they didn’t taste as good as the regular ones. I started on a campaign to find a healthier, regular cookie. As I was researching I came across this interesting catch phrase  “health halo effect” which I subsequently learned, was something I had fallen in to purchasing organic cookies. The “health halo effect” is this concept of assuming something is healthier than it’s regular counterpart because it is organic. “Organic” does not mean more nutritious; it simply refers to how the ingredients were created, prepared, or raised.

This article from Cornell University went on to discuss an experiment they conducted to show how the “health halo effect” works when individuals read the word organic.

Their findings include:
• Labelling products “organic” leads consumers to believe that they are healthy through the “health halo effect”
• Consumers generally assumed that the package marked “organic” contained fewer calories and less fat than the “regular” package
• Consumers are willing to pay more for “organic” labeled foods

To read the article click here.

Make sure that before you grab those organic chips, cookies or juices that you read the label! Do not pick it up assuming you are getting a healthier option. It may be easier on the pocketbook to just pick up the regular version and moderate how much of it you eat. We have dietitians on staff at Achieving Your Best that can walk you through the grocery store aisles and explain where organic is important and where it may not make a significant difference. “Provision as much pure and organic food as you can, and let the rest go by” – Laurie Colwin

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