This study assesses front-of-package nutrition labeling using novel technology (eye tracking) in a population at risk for obesity (urban, lower-income, racial and ethnic minority). Eye tracking allows objective comparison of use of monochromatic Nutrition Keys labels (soon to be added to food packages by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but currently unevaluated) and color-coded traffic light labels by parent/child pairs making food choices in a simulated grocery setting. This study uses random assignment and a 2 (label design: traffic light, Nutrition Keys) x 2 (educational materials: present, absent) plus control group (no-label, no signage) design to create five groups of 50 parent/child pairs. Parent/child pairs will complete a food choice task in a simulated grocery aisle (i.e., while wearing eye-tracking glasses, they will select 6 foods to take home). Study outcomes to be evaluated include label viewing, label comprehension and healthfulness of food items selected. Results from this study will help policy-makers decide whether changing from Nutrition Keys to color-coded labels would benefit consumer health by revealing how each label type is viewed during food selection, whether label types are equally clear and informative, and whether either label leads to more healthful food purchases than no label. Through its evaluation of educational signage, findings from this study will also allow policy-makers and other stakeholders to see how such resources relate to label use and food choice.
Using New Eye-Tracking Technologies to Assess the Effects of Varied Nutrition Labels on the Selection and Purchase of Healthful Foods
Impact of Explained v. Unexplained Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels on Parent and Child Food Choices: A Randomized Trial
This study examined the impact of front-of-package (FOP) labels and in-aisle signage identifying and explaining those labels on the healthfulness of foods selected by consumers. 153 parent/child pairs completed the study in a laboratory grocery aisle. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: (i) Facts up Front labels … More
Nutrition Label Viewing During a Food-Selection Task: Front-of-Package Labels vs. Nutrition Facts Labels
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 … 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