How to Diet: Can “Low-Calorie” Labels Lead to You Eat More?

Scientists offered 188 young women the same oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. The labels listed either 130 or 260 calories per cookie, and they had a brand name that was either considered more healthful (Kashi) or less healthful (Nabisco).


The women ate more cookies when they were labeled as Kashi than when they were labeled as Nabisco. What’s more, the women ate more when the cookies were labeled as having 130 calories each than when they were labeled as having 260 calories each.

What to do: Be wary of labels that might give you license to overeat.

Source: Appetite 2014. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.100.


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3 Replies to “How to Diet: Can “Low-Calorie” Labels Lead to You Eat More?”

    1. From the Nutrition Action Healthletter: in general, you can trust the Nutrition Facts information on labels. However, the bigger the company, the more reliable the calorie counts on labels because they have the resources to do nutrient analyses properly and they have more to lose if they get it wrong. Where there are problems, it’s usually small companies who mean well but don’t know what they’re doing.

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