What is the Halo Effect and How Does it Impact the Way You Buy Food?

First off, what is the Halo Effect? The Halo Effect (also known as the Halo Error) is a perception distortion (cognitive dissonance) which affects a person’s judgement of a specific product, brand, person, group, idea, entity, or statement based on things unrelated. It has been recognized by psychologists and marketers for a long time and is widely used in food packaging.

For example, if we see a very attractive person we tend to think they are successful and popular. Another example would be when you go to the grocery store and really want a bag of cookies, but you know they are not healthy. Yet you walk by some chocolate cookies that say “Organic!” and you subconsciously think they are better for you, so you purchase them and proceed to eat the entire bag while you watch reruns of Friends. Just so you are aware, they are still chock full of sugar and technically not good for you.

There are actually five phrases that marketers use to get people to buy certain food products. Looking at food labels should be done while you grocery shop so you know what you are buying and putting into your body. Don’t fall for these phrases and be careful when shopping.

  1. Organic: We are not talking about organic fruits and vegetables when we bring up this phrase. We are discussing processed foods that claim to be organic. To be able to put the “organic” label on food packaging, the ingredients must contain 70% of organic products. It does not mean it is healthy, has no sugar, are healthy calories, and is not junk food. Plenty of organic processed products are unhealthy for you.
  2. Endorsed by [insert organization here]: CrossFit HQ has explained in recent articles that not all “health” organizations practice integrity or and have been found accepting money from big junk food industry players. It says nothing about the sugar or sodium content or how good the food actually is for you if it is endorsed by a specific organization.
  3. Heart Healthy: Just because it claims to be “Heart Healthy” does not mean it does not contain preservatives. It simply just has minimal salt, trans-fat and fat. Again we cannot strain enough – look at the labels of the food you are buying.
  4. Made with whole grain: Ok… but what type of whole grain? rice, quinoa, couscous, millet, spelt, oatmeal, cornmeal? You can get your wholegrains from eating actual rice or oatmeal. You do not need to get whole grains from baked goods, sugary cereals with a crap ton of preservatives. It also does not mean there are only whole grains in the product or there are no preservatives. It just means it was made with some whole grains.
  5. All natural: the word “natural” means a lot of different things to different people and companies. Marketers are banking on the fact we associate “all natural” with “organic”. These food companies sure paint a pretty picture, when in reality they look the same as products that are “organic” but they do not have to go through as many requirements to be deemed an organic product. Heck, some consider high fructos corn syrup organic. P.S. it is not…

These five phrases have eluded the best of us. The best thing to do is to educate yourself when it comes to food. Evaluate your goals and understand how to attain your goals. Know what you are buying and make sure you are not putting chemicals in your body (unless you really want to, then you do you boo). Don’t let these deceptive food marketers to get the best of you.

FitMix Update

Effective September 1st, 2019, CFABQ will no longer accept FitMix.  Due to recent changes with how FitMix pays per member per class, it is necessary to change our policy. We regret to inform the FitMix members that attend CFABQ that we can no longer accept FitMix effective September 1st, 2019.The FitMix model is no longer a viable and cost…
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5:00pm Classes to Remain CrossFit Group class

In the August Newsletter we announced the 5:00pm class was going to switch to a CrossFit Basics class. We apologize for the confusion, but the 5:00pm class will remain a normal CrossFit group class. We will continue to do the same programming as the rest of our class offerings. If you would like to see what the workout is…
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July Coach Spotlight: Keelieanna

Name: Kellie Knapp Position: Coach (Wednesday 6:00pm class) When did you start doing CrossFit? My first CrossFit class was actually an introductory park WOD in conjunction with Lululemon, mid-May 2013. I ended up getting sick, had to stop in the middle of the workout, and then proceeded to throw up once I left. Joe convinced me to try it…
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Everyone is searching for that magical supplement or drug to increase their athletic performance, speed up recovery, or help them live longer and/or healthier. People pay hundreds of dollars each month for supplements and powders to help them jump higher, clean heavier, workout harder, look better, be healthier, and grow older. But what most people don't realize is they…
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June Coach Spotlight and Farewell: LLL (Lift Like Linda)

Linda's final week with CFABQ was last week. We would like to thank Linda for her hard work and dedication to CFABQ over the past couple years. We are not only spotlighting Linda as the coach for June, but also wishing her and her family farewell. We wish you guys the best of luck in Durango and hope you…
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3rd Annual Melissa Memorial WOD

Saturday, June 1st we will be participating in the Melissa Memorial WOD in honor of Coach Becky's mother.  Melissa, Becky's mother, passed away May 19, 2016 from PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood and behavior, and thinking.May is PSP Awareness Month. Becky and her sister, are making strides…
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May Coach Spotlight: Becky Freeman

When did you start doing CrossFit? Beginning of August 2015. Started Coaching at CFABQ in 2017. What made you decide to start coaching? When I was in college, I decided I wanted to be a strength & conditioning coach (and a dietitian later). This was after trying to be an Athletic Trainer and finding that was not the career…
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Looking Back At The 2019 CrossFit Open.1

Well folks, we have gotten through the FIRST CrossFit Open of 2019! We are proud of our members for grinding through the 5 weeks of workouts! Looking back, it is easy for us to beat ourselves up for not going harder, not lifting heavier, or not repeating a workout to try to get a better score. But I am…
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April Coach Spotlight: Felicia Jackson (aka FJ)

Name: Felicia Jackson Position: Coach (12:00pm class several times a week) When did you start doing CrossFit? I started CrossFit in February 2014 with Whitney’s 5am boot camp. And like most, I was instantly addicted! It was nice to come into an environment where you were.   encouraged to test your limits and be strong. What made you decide to…
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