Assessment Of Knowledge And Understanding Among Consumers Regarding Food Label Reading
Keywords:Nutrition information, food label, knowledge and understanding, diet-disease relationship
AbstractFood label reading knowledge and understanding among consumers Background: Nutrition information on food labels is regarded as a major means for encouraging consumers to make healthier choices when shopping for food. The FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of food label use among the consumers and its relationship to nutrition knowledge, and beliefs regarding diet-disease relationships, and to determine factors predictive of infrequent label use. Method: The study surveyed 850 consumers of the city, approached randomly. A verbal consent had been taken from the consumers before giving them questionnaire. A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data for analysis and interpretation. The questionnaire was formulated based on questionnaires validated and used reliably in previous studies. Result: About 40% consumers buy the pre packed foods once weekly. Taste, brand name, convenience and habit are the main reason for buying pre packed foods. Although majority of consumers across the age groups read the food labels, but majority looked only for the sign of vegetarian or non-vegetarian (70%) and manufacturing and expiry date (85%). Of those who read labels, only a third checked nutrition information and ingredients. Conclusion: Nutrient information on labels was not often read because most consumers either lacked nutrition knowledge or found the information too technical to understand. The intention of promoting healthy food choices through use of food labels will not be completely met till people found it difficult to comprehend nutrition information.
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