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Evaluation of consumer understanding of different front-of-package nutrition labels, 2010-2011.

Roberto CA, Bragg MA, Seamans MJ, Mechulan RL, Novak N, Brownell KD - Prev Chronic Dis (2012)

Bottom Line: Quiz scores and product perceptions were compared with 1-way analysis of variance followed by post-hoc Tukey tests.The MTL+caloric intake group (mean [standard deviation], 73.3% [6.9%]) and Choices group (72.5% [13.2%]) significantly outperformed the no label group (67.8% [10.3%]) and the TL+SNL group (65.8% [7.3%]) in selecting the more healthful product on the healthier product quiz.The MTL and MTL+caloric intake groups achieved average scores of more than 90% on the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium quizzes, which were significantly better than the no label and Choices group average scores, which were between 34% and 47%.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. christina.roberto@yale.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Governments throughout the world are using or considering various front-of-package (FOP) food labeling systems to provide nutrition information to consumers. Our web-based study tested consumer understanding of different FOP labeling systems.

Methods: Adult participants (N = 480) were randomized to 1 of 5 groups to evaluate FOP labels: 1) no label; 2) multiple traffic light (MTL); 3) MTL plus daily caloric requirement icon (MTL+caloric intake); 4) traffic light with specific nutrients to limit based on food category (TL+SNL); or 5) the Choices logo. Total percentage correct quiz scores were created reflecting participants' ability to select the healthier of 2 foods and estimate amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium in foods. Participants also rated products on taste, healthfulness, and how likely they were to purchase the product. Quiz scores and product perceptions were compared with 1-way analysis of variance followed by post-hoc Tukey tests.

Results: The MTL+caloric intake group (mean [standard deviation], 73.3% [6.9%]) and Choices group (72.5% [13.2%]) significantly outperformed the no label group (67.8% [10.3%]) and the TL+SNL group (65.8% [7.3%]) in selecting the more healthful product on the healthier product quiz. The MTL and MTL+caloric intake groups achieved average scores of more than 90% on the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium quizzes, which were significantly better than the no label and Choices group average scores, which were between 34% and 47%.

Conclusion: An MTL+caloric intake label and the Choices symbol hold promise as FOP labeling systems and require further testing in different environments and population subgroups.

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Sample public service advertisement explaining interpretation of front-of-package labeling system.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Figure 2: Sample public service advertisement explaining interpretation of front-of-package labeling system.

Mentions: Participants in each of the 5 groups viewed a public service advertisement (PSA) online (Figure 2) that was modeled after a food industry advertisement for a previous FOP labeling program called Smart Choices (10). The PSA that each of the 5 groups viewed included the words “become label conscious.” PSAs for participants in the 4 label groups included instructions on how to interpret the labeling system the participant was about to see. Participants in the no-label control group viewed a PSA nearly identical to those viewed by the other 4 groups but without label interpretation instructions. We included a PSA in the survey because an FOP initiative would likely be accompanied by such educational efforts, and the food industry pledged to spend $50 million on a consumer education campaign for Facts Up Front.


Evaluation of consumer understanding of different front-of-package nutrition labels, 2010-2011.

Roberto CA, Bragg MA, Seamans MJ, Mechulan RL, Novak N, Brownell KD - Prev Chronic Dis (2012)

Sample public service advertisement explaining interpretation of front-of-package labeling system.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3475525&req=5

Figure 2: Sample public service advertisement explaining interpretation of front-of-package labeling system.
Mentions: Participants in each of the 5 groups viewed a public service advertisement (PSA) online (Figure 2) that was modeled after a food industry advertisement for a previous FOP labeling program called Smart Choices (10). The PSA that each of the 5 groups viewed included the words “become label conscious.” PSAs for participants in the 4 label groups included instructions on how to interpret the labeling system the participant was about to see. Participants in the no-label control group viewed a PSA nearly identical to those viewed by the other 4 groups but without label interpretation instructions. We included a PSA in the survey because an FOP initiative would likely be accompanied by such educational efforts, and the food industry pledged to spend $50 million on a consumer education campaign for Facts Up Front.

Bottom Line: Quiz scores and product perceptions were compared with 1-way analysis of variance followed by post-hoc Tukey tests.The MTL+caloric intake group (mean [standard deviation], 73.3% [6.9%]) and Choices group (72.5% [13.2%]) significantly outperformed the no label group (67.8% [10.3%]) and the TL+SNL group (65.8% [7.3%]) in selecting the more healthful product on the healthier product quiz.The MTL and MTL+caloric intake groups achieved average scores of more than 90% on the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium quizzes, which were significantly better than the no label and Choices group average scores, which were between 34% and 47%.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. christina.roberto@yale.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Governments throughout the world are using or considering various front-of-package (FOP) food labeling systems to provide nutrition information to consumers. Our web-based study tested consumer understanding of different FOP labeling systems.

Methods: Adult participants (N = 480) were randomized to 1 of 5 groups to evaluate FOP labels: 1) no label; 2) multiple traffic light (MTL); 3) MTL plus daily caloric requirement icon (MTL+caloric intake); 4) traffic light with specific nutrients to limit based on food category (TL+SNL); or 5) the Choices logo. Total percentage correct quiz scores were created reflecting participants' ability to select the healthier of 2 foods and estimate amounts of saturated fat, sugar, and sodium in foods. Participants also rated products on taste, healthfulness, and how likely they were to purchase the product. Quiz scores and product perceptions were compared with 1-way analysis of variance followed by post-hoc Tukey tests.

Results: The MTL+caloric intake group (mean [standard deviation], 73.3% [6.9%]) and Choices group (72.5% [13.2%]) significantly outperformed the no label group (67.8% [10.3%]) and the TL+SNL group (65.8% [7.3%]) in selecting the more healthful product on the healthier product quiz. The MTL and MTL+caloric intake groups achieved average scores of more than 90% on the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium quizzes, which were significantly better than the no label and Choices group average scores, which were between 34% and 47%.

Conclusion: An MTL+caloric intake label and the Choices symbol hold promise as FOP labeling systems and require further testing in different environments and population subgroups.

Show MeSH