Examining Consumers’ Understanding of Front-of-Package Nutrition Information Systems
In May 2010 the White House Childhood Obesity Task Force identified the need to improve front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labels to help consumers when making purchasing decisions. Multiple competing industry-initiated labeling systems currently appear on packaged foods in the United States. This research team proposed a randomized-controlled trial to test consumers’ understanding of several different types of FOP labels, including the the Multiple Traffic Light system and the Facts Up Front system launched in 2011 by U.S. food and beverage manufacturers and retailers. Adult participants in the web-based study were randomized to one of five FOP label conditions. Study participants were asked to answer several questions about the nutritional profile of different foods they were comparing and to provide an overall rating of product healthfulness, taste perception, and intent to purchase the product. Participants were also asked questions about their eating habits and to provide demographic information. Outcomes across label conditions were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and post-hoc tests comparing each label condition to all of the others.
Start Date: March 2011
ID #: CAS003
Organization: Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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