Comparing Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling Systems
The provision of nutrition information on food packaging is one strategy to help consumers make food choices. The federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act enacted in 1990 requires that almost all packaged foods bear a Nutrition Facts panel which includes information such as serving size, calories, and certain nutrients. Despite the availability of this information, the prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in recent decades. A variety of nutrition rating systems and symbols have been developed in recent years and now appear on the front of food packages, meant to make it easier for consumers to make healthful food choices. The purpose of this project was to test a new fact-based, evaluative system of calorie and nutrient information provision. The research team evaluated the consumer comprehension of the Nutrition Facts system as compared to other available front-of-package labeling systems, including the Nutrition Keys system launched in 2011 by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Food Marketing Institute, as well as other systems developed by the Institute of Medicine and the food industry. Data were collected from participants via internet panels as well as in a retail laboratory setting, all of whom were adult consumers with children living in the household of the participant.
Many front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labeling systems have been developed by food retailers and manufactures to help consumers identify more healthful options at the point of purchase. This paper examines how two alternative FOP nutrition labeling systems – reductive and evaluative – affect shoppers’ product evaluations, choices, and retailer evaluations. Reductive … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Children and adolescents see between 4,500 and 6,000 food ads on TV each year, the majority of which are for products high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients. In April 2011, a coalition of federal authorities known as the Interagency Working Group on Foods Marketed to Children … More