“Organic” Doesn’t Mean to “Go and Over Eat”

Published:July 19th, 2010

People nowadays have a misconception about “organic” labels. The tendency is to overeat since it’s organic, but weight loss experts say that the same number of calories is counted and this doesn’t translate to weight loss, it may even promote obesity, according to a new study.

When people see “organic” in cookies, they automatically assume that it’s lower in calories and so it’s perfectly fine to indulge. Exercise is no longer deemed as necessary after they indulge on organic desserts.

Study researcher Jonathon Schuldt says, “Organic foods are treated with these misconceptions,” he continues, “low cholesterol are thought of as no cholesterol and low fat is treated as no fat, which is entirely the reason why people associate this with healthiness and ignores the importance of exercise which can only lead to obesity.”

Experts recommend further studies to look more closely into this perception if this can make people eat more than they should as this can promote weight gain. Statistics show that sales of organic foods skyrocketed from $1 billion in 1990 to about $25 billion in 2009.

“What many people don’t realize is that, organic merely refers to how foods are processed, and not entirely on whether it has lesser calories or lesser fat. This study was conducted at the University of Michigan looking at consumer perceptions whether “organic” translated into “fewer calories” that plays an important part on eating judgments. About 114 college participants were sampled and asked to read nutrition labels – one having “organic ingredients” and the other being just the regular non-organic type. Both food samples contained the same number of calories and the only difference was the “organic” label. The result: More people thought that they should be eating more of those “organic” labeled foods compared to the non-organic ones. It turns out that those who preferred more of the organic food had pro-environment sentiments and who value organic food production.

Another study was conducted looking at the “organic” perception and whether exercise can already be skipped. Findings revealed that exercise was conveniently set aside because of the perception that “organic” food consumption literally meant weight loss.

Researchers conclude that these findings actually suggest that “organic” claims foster the misconception and higher consumption, and that it’s already a significant weight loss achievement even without exercise.

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