Document Detail

Figuring out food labels. Young adults' understanding of nutritional information presented on food labels is inadequate.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22210347     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Nutritional labelling of packaged foods, mandated by law, includes details of the food content and composition - information that can affect individual and public lifestyle decisions and health status. We studied the comprehension of food labels among 120 young adults (mean age 24.1 years) attending an international travel immunization clinic. Each participant was presented with 10 food packages of common local products and was interviewed regarding the label's content. Most subjects (77.5%) reported that they took note of the food labels; women, the more educated and those engaging regularly in physical exercise were more inclined to do so. Out of a possible 10 points the overall median comprehension score was 6.0 (mean 5.7±1.8). The nutritional table section of the food label was understood the best, and the nutritional declaration section the least. The subjects thought they understood the food labels better than they actually did; 43.9% stated that they understood them very well, whereas only 27.2% achieved high scores. This inadequate comprehension of food labels represents a missed opportunity to provide essential information necessary for healthy food choices at the individual level. A combination of strategies is necessary, including improving food labels (simplification and standardization) combined with targeted educational programs.
Miri Sharf; Ruti Sela; Gary Zentner; Hanna Shoob; Iris Shai; Chen Stein-Zamir
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-12-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Appetite     Volume:  58     ISSN:  1095-8304     ISO Abbreviation:  Appetite     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-02-22     Completed Date:  2012-06-19     Revised Date:  2012-10-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006808     Medline TA:  Appetite     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  531-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jerusalem District Health Office, 86 Jaffa Road, Jerusalem 94341, Israel.
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MeSH Terms
Educational Status
Food Labeling*
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Health Promotion
Life Style
Sex Factors
Young Adult
Erratum In:
Appetite. 2012 Oct;59(2):617

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