Buckeye Research Team Mythbusts Beliefs About Food Cost and Health

Consumers believe healthy food must be more expensive than cheap eats and that higher-priced food is healthier – even when there is no supporting evidence, according to new research.

The results mean not only that marketers can charge more for products that are touted as healthy, but that consumers may not believe that a product is healthy if it doesn’t cost more, researchers say. For example, people in one study thought eye health was a more important issue for them when they were told about an expensive but unfamiliar food ingredient that would protect their vision. If the same ingredient was relatively cheap, people didn’t think the issue it treated – eye health – was as important.

The study was conducted to examine the lay theory that we have to pay more to eat healthfully. Lay theories are the common-sense explanations people use to understand the world around them, whether they are true or not. Messages consistent with the “healthy = expensive” lay-theory are all around us. One example is the “Whole Paycheck” nickname people have given to Whole Foods, which touts itself as “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store.”

The results appear online in the Journal of Consumer Research.20

OSU Research: When Old Becomes New Again

A team of researchers at the Ohio State University has been studying how to make old favorites feel novel again.

The study suggested that when a subject consumed something via an unconventional method they were more easily able to focus on what it was that they loved about it in the first place. This phenomenon has already been employed in “pitch black” restaurants. These popular eateries serve dinner in the dark.

The researchers conducted multiple experiments. In a study of 68 participants, subjects came to a lab thinking they were there for a study on how to help people eat more slowly. Some of the subjects ate 10 pieces of popcorn using just hands; the others ate the pieces with chopsticks. Subjects then rated their experience in a variety of ways. Some of the measures were overall enjoyment, how much flavor the popcorn had and how much fun they had eating it. Participants using the chopsticks later said they enjoyed eating the popcorn more than the subjects who used their hands.

New Research Finds Interesting Correlations Between Lifelong Weight Gain and Mortality Rates

According to new research, people who start adulthood with a body mass index (BMI) in the “normal” range and move later in life to being “overweight” but not “obese” to tend live the longest.

Those who stayed in the “normal” BMI range throughout life didn’t live as long as the latter category and those who started adulthood as “obese” and continued to add weight had the highest rate of death.

Researchers stated that the impact of weight gain on mortality is complex and depends on lots of factors like the amount of weight gain and where the subjects BMI started.

The primary message is that you want to start in a “normal” weight range and gain only a modest amount throughout life while avoiding “obesity.”

Results like these were also found in two generations of participants in a Framingham Heart Study, though the participants were mostly white. The review followed the medical histories of residents in one city and that of their children for several decades.

The study revealed troublesome trends for the younger generation who became overweight or obese sooner in life than their parents and are more likely to have an obesity-linked death.

 

Old Medicine, New Medicine Come Together to Cure Leishmaniasis Disease

Researchers from OSU are planning for first phase of human trials on a new vaccine. They used CRISPR gene editing to change the parasite that causes leishmaniasis. This is a common skin disease in tropical parts of the world and is increasing in the U.S.

Scientists found through a series of animal studies that the vaccine protected mice from the skin disease. Even immune compromised mice who were exposed as human are—through a bite of infected sand flies—were protected from the parasite’s disease.

In a series of animal studies, the vaccine protected mice against the disease – including mice with compromised immune systems and mice exposed to the parasite in the same way humans are, through the bite of infected sand flies.

The researchers stated that if the vaccine can protect against such a direct method of infection that the vaccine may be ready.

The team used a hundred-year-old method from the Middle East called leishmanization. They introduce the live parasite to the skin to create a small infection. After it is healed this small exposure gives the patient lifelong immunity.

Researchers noted that will live vaccines are the most effective can be the most dangerous causing serious disease in some patients. Their vaccine only “infects” the skin with immunity because the vaccine parasites have been genetically manipulated through CRISPR.

 

People Prefer Seeing Individuals Excel Over Teams, New Study Finds

A new study by researchers at OSU found that people like to see talented people excel, whether in sports or business. They like an individual’s winning streak. But don’t care to see that happen with teams or groups.

People would love to see Usain Bolt win another gold medal but far fewer are interested in seeing the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl, researchers said.

Researchers stated the reason for the phenomenon is that people are inspired by extraordinary individual success in a way team success doesn’t. If Usain Bolt wins another gold medal (and another in a row) it expands what we considered to be the limit of human ability. We do not see team success in the same light. The study found people are simply more moved by individual success.

In one part of the study many more people were excited bout Bolt’s winning a third in a row gold medal in the 100-meter dash than they were by his shared gold medal on the 4×100-meter relay team. Result also showed people would rather see him win a forth gold medal on his own rather than as part of a team.

In one study, they examined people’s views on the success of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter who won the 100-meter dash in the last three Olympics. Bolt was also a member of a team that won the gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay at those same Olympic games.

The study was published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”