October 25, 2014
Happy man picking up a product off a supermarket shelf, green label

Be Wary of Green Nutrition Labels

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Don’t be influenced by the subliminal effect of green-colored nutrition labels on the front of some candy packages: The color can make unhealthy foods seem healthier than they are, suggests a recent study published in the journal Health Communication.

Some food companies have created simplified front-of-package labels to highlight calories and basic nutrients, but they have been much criticized for their shortcomings. Among these is Mars, which uses a green calorie label on its candy packages.

When a researcher from Cornell University showed candy to students, they judged it to be more healthful (or rather less unhealthful) when it had a green calorie label than when it had a red or white one showing the same information. This was especially true of students who said they valued healthy eating.

Don’t take a green label to be a green light!