You Are What you Read?

Earlier this week we found a ton of news about food labeling, showing the passion and concern that many of us have for knowing what’s in the food we eat. This NPR piece appeared on Morning Edition and can now be heard, viewed or read on their health news blog, shots. Alix Spiegel and Blanca Glaever reveal how an innovative experiment shows us that our physiological response to nutrition information (regardless of whether or not it is factual) can have a profound effect on how our bodies process what we eat. It turns out that labels not only let us know what is in our food, but may also let our bodies know how to process it.

It was late, almost 9 at night, when Justin Holden pulled the icy pizza box from the refrigerator at the Brookville Supermarket in Washington, D.C.

He stood in front of the open door, scanning the nutrition facts label.

A close relative had recently had a heart attack, and in the back of his mind there was this idea stalking him: If he put too much salt in his body, it would eventually kill him.

For this reason the information in the label wasn't exactly soothing: 1,110 milligrams of sodium seemed like a lot.

But there was even worse-sounding stuff at the bottom of the label."


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