Most people, especially if they are overweight tend to reach out to low fat products.
Yet how deceiving these are was highlighted in a recent study (Journal of Marketing Research) made by Cornell University researchers.
In the survey it was observed that participants were inclined towards loading up with low fat snacks.
They tended to eat less when confronted with suggested serving sizes of regular foods for which guilt pangs could well be blamed.
Very few actually realized they ate more of low fat snacks and hence accumulated more calories; an alarming increase of 50 percent.
In other words, participants in the study expected that the low-fat snacks they ate were 20 to 25 percent lower in calories, so they thought they could eat more. And like many others, they mistakenly believed that "low-fat" is equal to "low-calorie." In low fat snacks fat is usually replaced with sugar.
In his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Wansink says low fat snacks are an average of 11 % lower in calories but people think they are around 40 % lower, so they tend to eat more of these.
Wansink concludes with a word of advice: "Stick with the regular version, but eat a little bit less. It's better for both your diet and your taste buds"