Why does the best food seem healthier to us?

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Last Update: 2020-11-19 15:23:15 IST

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A study by Linda Hagen (University of South California), published in the Journal of Marketing , focuses on the beauty of the product , in which the author tries to answer a simple question: does beautiful food seem even healthier?

Few things matter to humans as much as food, which in addition to being a necessary source of sustenance has become a cultural obsession, as well as one of the most ubiquitous products on the market: we live bombarded by thousands of advertisements for all kinds of food, more and more perfect that invites us to consume them.

A study by Linda Hagen (University of South California), published in the Journal of Marketing , focuses on the beauty of the product , in which the author tries to answer a simple question: does beautiful food seem even healthier?

DECEPTIVE COMMERCIALS

Hagen's study starts from a consideration of human nature: we are naturally attracted to beauty, and we take pleasure in admiring it even though it is not useful in any way. Food, on the other hand, must nourish us, so what we want to know is whether it is good for our body - that is, if it is healthy.

In this sense, according to Hagen, the idea of ​​advertising food by showing it as beautiful should be counterproductive, because we tend to view beauty and utility as mutually exclusive. However, there are some aspects of the idea of ​​beauty (such as symmetry and order), which man tends to associate with nature, and everything that is natural, we naturally think, is also healthy.

BUT WHAT GOODNESS! 

The scholar then conducted a series of experiments to assess how much the beauty of food affects our perception of its goodness. And he found, for example, that poorly packaged toast is judged to be less healthy than one with the same ingredients but packaged to perfection, or that the participants in his experiment were willing to spend more on a nice pepper than on one crooked and asymmetrical.

This is a problem, because it means that an aesthetically flawless product is more likely to succeed on the market than a less pleasing but healthier one (for example a fruit from organic crops). A problem that, according to the researcher, could be solved with better nutrition education and more controlled advertising.

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