Published: April 2015

ID #: 69295

Journal: J Acad Nutr Diet

Authors: Graham DJ, Heidrick C, Hodgin K

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Attention to nutrition information, including reading food labels, can be an effective way to improve dietary behaviors. Research has identified consumer characteristics associated with viewing Nutrition Facts labels; however, little is known about those who view front-of-package nutrition labels. This study examines and quantifies Nutrition Facts and front-of-package nutrition label viewing among American adult consumers. Participants, consisting of pairs of 123 parents and one of their children (ages 6 to 9 years), were randomized to conditions in which front-of-package nutrition labels were present or absent, and signage explaining front-of-package nutrition labels was present or absent. Adults’ visual attention to Nutrition Facts labels and front-of-package nutrition labels was objectively measured via eye-tracking glasses. Overall, front-of-package labels were more likely to be viewed than Nutrition Facts labels (63% vs. 42%) among all consumers. Among participants who had access to signage explaining front-of-package nutrition labels, 95 percent viewed at least one front-of-package label, whereas only 27 percent of participants viewed front-of-package labels without signage. The study suggests that consumer attention to front-of-package labeling would be increased by informational campaigns educating consumers of the availability of this resource and how to use it.

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