Thursday July 19, 2018

Sweet Sizzlin’ Beans! Fancy Names likely to get Diners to eat their Vegetables

More diners chose the fancy-named items, and selected larger portions of them, too, in the experiment last fall at a Stanford University cafeteria

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This Jan. 20, 2017, file photo shows roasted carrot hummus with crudite and pita chips at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. VOA
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Chicago, June 12, 2017: Researchers tried a big serving of food psychology and a dollop of trickery to get diners to eat their vegetables. And it worked.

Veggies given names like “zesty ginger-turmeric sweet potatoes” and “twisted citrus-glazed carrots” were more popular than those prepared exactly the same way but with plainer, more healthful-sounding labels. Diners more often said “no thanks” when the food had labels like “low-fat,” “reduced-sodium” or “sugar-free.”

More diners chose the fancy-named items, and selected larger portions of them, too, in the experiment last fall at a Stanford University cafeteria.

ALSO READ: One-Third of Food Produced in the World is Thrown Away: 800 Million people are hungry in the World

“While it may seem like a good idea to emphasize the healthiness of vegetables, doing so may actually backfire,” said lead author Bradley Turnwald, a graduate student in psychology.

Other research has shown that people tend to think of healthful sounding food as less tasty, so the aim was to make it sound as good as more indulgent, fattening fare.

Researchers from Stanford’s psychology department tested the idea as a way to improve eating habits and make a dent in the growing obesity epidemic.

“This novel, low-cost intervention could easily be implemented in cafeterias, restaurants, and consumer products to increase selection of healthier options,” they said.

Study’s details

The results were published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study was done over 46 days last fall. Lunchtime vegetable offerings were given different labels on different days. For example, on one day diners could choose “dynamite chili and tangy lime-seasoned beets.” On other days, the same item was labeled “lighter-choice beets with no added sugar,” “high antioxidant beets,” or simply “beets.”

Almost one-third of the nearly 28,000 diners chose a vegetable offering during the study. The tasty-sounding offering was the most popular, selected by about 220 diners on average on days it was offered, compared with about 175 diners who chose the simple-label vegetable. The healthy-sounding labels were the least popular.

Diners also served themselves bigger portions of the tasty-sounding vegetables than of the other choices.

Turnwald emphasized that “there was no deception” — all labels accurately described the vegetables, although diners weren’t told that the different-sounding choices were the exact same item.

The results illustrate “the interesting advantage to indulgent labeling,” he said.

Dr. Stephen Cook, a University of Rochester childhood obesity researcher, called the study encouraging and said some high school cafeterias have also tried different labels to influence healthy eating.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise to us because marketing people have been doing this for years,” Cook said. (VOA)

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Consumption of Raw Fruits And Veggies Boost Mental Health

Eating raw fruit and vegetables such as kiwis, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, cucumber, and carrots may lower symptoms of depression and improve mental health, more than cooked, canned and processed food, say researchers.

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Here is good news for women who are suffering from hearing loss. A new study has found that consuming healthy food may decrease the risk of hearing loss in women.
Healthy Diet, Pixabay

Eating raw fruit and vegetables such as kiwis, bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, cucumber, and carrots may lower symptoms of depression and improve mental health, more than cooked, canned and processed food, say researchers.

The findings showed that consuming raw fruits and vegetables leads to lower levels of mental illness symptomology, such as depression.

It also improved levels of psychological well-being including a positive mood and life satisfaction.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons

“Our research has highlighted that the consumption of fruit and vegetables in their ‘unmodified’ state is more strongly associated with better mental health compared to cooked/canned/processed fruit and vegetables,” said lead author Tamlin Conner, senior lecturer at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

However, when the fruits and vegetables are cooked, canned and processed, they lose their mental health benefits as the process potentially diminishes the nutrient levels, Conner noted.

“Cooking and processing likely limits the delivery of nutrients that are essential for optimal emotional functioning,” Conner said.

 

The amendment is part of Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2017
Representational Image. pixabay

 

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, more than 400 young adults from New Zealand and the US aged 18 to 25 years were surveyed.

Conner says public health campaigns have historically focused on aspects of quantity for the consumption of fruit and vegetables (such as 5+ a day).

However, the new study found that for mental health in particular, it may also be important to consider the way in which produce was prepared and consumed.

Also Read: Food Preservative Shows Promise In Schizophrenia Treatment

“This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe and adjuvant approach to improving mental health,” Conner said.  (IANS)