‘Fitness’ foods not that fit to make you fit. The Study shows that branding an item as fitness encourages consumers to think that there is no need to exercise after eating such a food. On one hand some people go for a jog, but on the other hand others munch on ‘fitness’ foods to remain fit.
Most people tend to opt for fewer meals per day and foods, that are healthy and tailor-made to help them reduce weight. In such cases, foods aimed at dieting consumers that talk about promoting fitness may end up doing more harm than good.
In a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, researchers found that such branding not only encourages consumers to eat more of the food but the consumers end up exercising a lot less. This nullifies any benefits from their dieting to control their weight.
Consumers believe as they eat food proved to make them more fit, they tend to exercise less, as it does not have the same calories as a potentially fatty meal. They substitute the fitness branded food for exercise.
JoergKoenigstorfer (TechnischeUniversitätMünchen) and Hans Baumgartner (Pennsylvania State University), the authors of the study write, “Branding a product as ‘fit’ increased consumption for those who were watching their weight. To make matters worse, usually, these foods are not forbidden in their diets. Also these eaters reduce the amount of physical activity they do, seeing fit food as a replacement for exercise.
To test the effects of branding on consumer mindsets, physical activity and their eating habits, people who were concerned about their body weight were included among the participants. They were given snacks that consisted of a trail-mix and were instructed to behave as they would enjoy an afternoon snack at home. They were given eight minutes to taste and rate the trail-mix.
The trail-mix given was marked with either “trail-mix” or “fitness”. The “fitness” was made to appear even healthier by the addition of a pair of running shoes on the label. Also, in another phase of the study, the participants were given the choice to exercise as much as they chose to, on a stationary bike after consuming the snack.
It was observed that the people, who were watching their weight specifically, ate more of the trail-mix from the bag marked “fitness”. Not only that, they spent far less energy in exercising on the bike afterward.
The authors concluded that branding an item as fitness encouraged the consumer to think that there was no need to exercise after eating such a food.
The consumer has to be reminded that exercise is still important no matter what kind of food you eat during a diet. Just shortening the amount and portions of a meal does nothing to help lose weight and tone your body.
Brands could help reinforce the importance of exercise by offering exercise tips or gym vouchers rather than just splashing on a label claiming fitness on their product.
You have to workout daily, along with a well-constructed diet plan to successfully lose weight. Working the muscles cannot only help in shedding those pounds but it makes you look toned and it feels great too! Remember no pain, no gain.