The aim of this study is to evaluate different Front-Of-Package labeling systems to determine which may lead consumers to make healthier purchasing decisions and increase consumer comprehension of product healthfulness. RTI Interntational has developed a virtual store environment, iSHOPPE™, which is a web-based three-dimensional consumer research tool that provides the benefit of having a realistic interface similar to a real shopping experience while allowing researchers to manipulate and control the study environment. This study proposes to evaluate the effect of four different label conditions—evaluative labels, nutrient-specific labels, Institute of Medicine hybrid labels, and a no-label control condition—on parents’ purchasing decisions during a shopping task using the iSHOPPE™ virtual store environment. Participants, who will be lower-income parents with children ages 4 to 12, will be randomly assigned to one of the label conditions, and their purchasing decisions will be assessed using an index of healthy purchases created using the Nutrient Profile Model, an algorithm that categorizes foods based on their nutritional composition. Participant comprehension of product healthfulness will be measured by calculating the difference between percevied healthfulness and objective healthfulness as determined by the Nutrient Profile Model. Moderating effects including time constraints, motivation, and health knowledge will also be examined.
Evaluating Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels on Low-Income Parents’ Comprehension of Product Healthfulness and on Consumers’ Purchasing Decisions
Retailers and other organizations currently use a variety of nutrition standards and recommendations to guide consumers towards healthier, “Better for You”, options. This variety can be confusing to consumers. Healthy Eating Research convened a scientific advisory committee to review existing “Better-For-You” nutrition standards, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The … 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