I recently had the opportunity to work in a school in East Harlem, New York to provide free health counseling sessions to students and parents. It was a great experience as everyone was fully engaged and asking a lot of questions. Through some of our discussions the participants began to feel they had been tricked by advertisers selling products that claim one of our favorite buzz words: Healthy, Fat-Free, Low-Fat, Sugar-Free, All Natural and the list goes on.
The key is to not let the packaging and flashy headlines be your decision making factors when buying products- flip the package over and read the ingredients list and look at the nutrition facts. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed from most to least; therefore, if the first ingredient you see is sugar put the package back on the shelf and keep moving.
Another trick that some consumers are not aware of is the placement of items in their grocery stores. Advertisers pay a premium to have their products placed on shelves at eye level, so make sure on your next trip to the grocery store you look on the higher and lower shelves through each aisle to ensure you are seeing all the products that are available.