We wouldn’t be the American public if we didn’t confuse, misconstrue, misunderstand, not pay attention too, overlook, or ignore the details. When it comes to the fine print, we’re a bunch of Mr. Magoos.

It’s doubly bad when it comes to diet and health. We don’t read the instructions. My grandmother has been drinking a tall frosty glass of Slim Fast before breakfast for 30 years and she still hasn’t lost a pound.

So it’s not surprising that a new study says people think “organic” automatically means low-calorie.

Organic is like everything else, some food is healthier than others. I love Late July Dark chocolate cookies. Seriously, try to take my cookies away from me and I’ll murder you. But even though Late July is organic, those cookies aren’t low-calorie…at all.

Regular Chips Ahoy cookies have 160 calories per serving. Serving size is just three cookies. But three Late July cookies only narrowly edge out the Chips Ahoy, with 150 calories per serving; so organic yes, health food no.

As for the study, it appears in the journal Judgment and Decision Making and involved 215 college students – typically known for their smart decisions. Ha!

Researchers presented the students with two types of cookies; labeled “Oreo cookies” or “Oreo cookies made with organic flour and sugar,” both were clearly marked as containing 160 calories.

And guess what? Students perceived the cookies labeled “organic” had fewer calories and admitted they would eat more of them.

But it’s not organic’s fault. Nutritional neglect is a tale as old as time. We print nutrition facts on everything, but the United States is still double-chin deep in an obesity epidemic.

Image credit: grist