The Health Halo

20078I found a great article in Tuesday’s Health section of the New York Times, titled “Health Halo Can Hide the Calories”.

The article’s author (John Tierney) and Pierre Chandon, a Frenchman who has been studying what researchers call the American obesity paradox, conducted an experiment in New York City (which banned trans fats in restaurants) to discover “Why, as Americans have paid more and more attention to eating healthily, have we kept getting fatter and fatter?”

Dr. Chandon’s answer, which was derived from laboratory experiments as well as field work at Subway and McDonald’s restaurants, is that Americans have been “seduced into overeating by the so-called health halo associated with certain foods and restaurants.”

So what is a health halo exactly? It’s certain restaurants touting their low-fat entrees or sandwiches that delude consumers. The authors argue that this “health halo” ends up cushioning us from the realities of what lies beneath the surface. Continue reading “The Health Halo”