Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research shows using text, color makes food labels easier to understand

Date:
January 4, 2013
Source:
RTI International
Summary:
As the spotlight on healthy eating and nutrition grows ever-brighter, new research suggests that including colorful and graphic nutrition information on product packages helps consumers better understand the information.

As the spotlight on healthy eating and nutrition grows ever-brighter, new research suggests that including colorful and graphic nutrition information on product packages helps consumers better understand the information.

According to a literature review conducted by RTI International, using text and color to describe the nutrient levels, rather than just numbers, is a more effective way to ensure consumers understand nutritional information.

A team of researchers found that when labels incorporated text and color to indicate "high," "medium" or "low" levels of nutrients, they were easier for consumers to interpret than those that used only numbers, such as grams per serving or percent of Recommended Dietary Allowances.

The literature review, published in the January issue of Nutrition Reviews, systematically analyzed 38 studies on consumer responses to nutrition labels on the front of food packages and on grocery aisle shelves to determine which aspects of labels had the strongest impact on consumer attention, understanding and purchasing behavior.

In general, the studies suggest that labels on the front of food packages and on grocery aisle shelves can help consumers make better food choices. The results may help guide development of nutrition labels that quickly capture the attention of consumers and prompt them to pick healthier foods.

"As standards for nutrition front-of-package and shelf-labeling systems are considered, it is important to know what is most effective in conveying scientifically accurate and useful information to consumers," said James Hersey, Ph.D., a senior scientist at RTI International and lead author of the study.

This review uncovered a number of knowledge gaps. "Although some research suggests that summary systems may influence consumers to purchase healthier products, more research is needed to assess front-of-package and shelf nutrition labels effects on consumers' shopping and eating behaviors," said Kelly Wohlgenant, policy analyst at RTI and the study's co-author.

The authors recommend that for the largest public health impact, nutrition label education and communication efforts should target consumers at high risk of obesity-related illness rather than those who are already focused on nutrition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RTI International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James C Hersey, Kelly C Wohlgenant, Joanne E Arsenault, Katherine M Kosa, Mary K Muth. Effects of front-of-package and shelf nutrition labeling systems on consumers. Nutrition Reviews, 2013; 71 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1111/nure.12000

Cite This Page:

RTI International. "Research shows using text, color makes food labels easier to understand." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143455.htm>.
RTI International. (2013, January 4). Research shows using text, color makes food labels easier to understand. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143455.htm
RTI International. "Research shows using text, color makes food labels easier to understand." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143455.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins