Thursday, 24 May 2018

We tried to warn you (part 94)

From Australia...

Those lollies and chocolates invitingly on display at the supermarket checkout are entirely strategic.

Junk food has little to recommend it to the smarter parts of our brains, but to our impulsive side, taste is all that matters. We might strategically avoid the confectionary [sic] aisle, but we all have to pass through the checkout where our impulses can be overwhelmed by the lure of the sugar fix.

Decision psychology researcher Dr Stefan Bode says the checkout trick is just one of a multitude of “environmental cues” that food companies use to market their products, from packaging to lifestyle messages and popular culture.

But how alluring would that chocolate be if the packaging was slapped with a picture of decaying teeth or a diseased heart?

 I think you can guess where this is going.

New research by the University of Melbourne and Cancer Council Victoria, published in both NeuroImage: Clinical, and Appetite, suggests that just like warnings on cigarette packaging, when it comes to junk food - the more graphic and negative the message the better.

Here's one of the food labels under consideration:

We libertarians tried to warn nonsmokers that this would happen, but we were treated like Cassandra as usual. And it will happen somewhere sooner or later once a public health minister is persuaded that he or she will look "bold" and "brave" and will get a trinket from the WHO. You know it's true.

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