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Journal ArticleDOI

Are food labels effective as a means of health prevention

21 Dec 2016-Journal of Public Health Research (J Public Health Res)-Vol. 5, Iss: 3, pp 768-768
TL;DR: The study proposed highlights how, despite the reported nutritional information is often clear and comprehensive, consumers do not necessarily take the healthiest choice, but decisionmaking process is also influenced by the ability to decode the label and its graphical representation.
Abstract: Chronic diseases related to unbalanced and unhealthy eating habits have definitely become one of the major issues of modern age, not only in western countries but also in those ones where rapid economic growth has increased global prosperity levels. In order to avoid medical systems to collapse under excessive costs, International and Public Organizations strongly support health policies that aim to make people shift towards wholesome dietary patterns, also encouraging the use of food-labels to choose healthier products. To evaluate the consumers' knowledge and perception about food-labels a brief questionnaire was developed and shared on Facebook between January-March 2016. Most of the participants were young adults with higher education. They declared to do their shopping at least once a week, reading the food-labels quite often. Despite owing limited knowledge in basic nutrition principles and food-labelling they were generally able to recognize healthier products looking over their nutritional fact tables. Anyway, on average, what they care the most about the products they purchase is the global quality level rather than the nutritional values. In order to induce the whole population to use food label as an effective self-protection tool, more efforts should be done to improve their knowledge on nutrition fundamentals and basics about food labelling, because that would make them able to take safer and more conscious choices as regards their own health.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results showed that nutrition claims can influence the knowledge of consumers with respect to perceived healthfulness of products, as well as expected and experienced tastiness of food products – making food products with nutrition claims seem healthier and less tasty.
Abstract: As part of efforts to address high levels of overweight and obesity, the provision of nutrition information (e.g., through nutrition labels and nutrition claims) on food packages has increasingly become an important policy option. This study aimed to assess the influence of nutrition claims relating to fat, sugar, and energy content on product packaging on several aspects of food choices to understand how they contribute to the prevention of overweight and obesity. A systematic literature review was conducted using the online databases EBSCOhost Global Health, EBSCOhost Medline, ScienceDirect, Scopus, PsycINFO and Embase. Studies were included if they measured the influence of nutrition claims relating to fat, sugar, and energy content on outcomes related to body weight, and were published between January 2003 and April 2018. Eleven studies were included in the review. Results showed that nutrition claims can influence the knowledge of consumers with respect to perceived healthfulness of products, as well as expected and experienced tastiness of food products – making food products with nutrition claims seem healthier and less tasty. Nutrition claims can make the appropriate portion size appear to be larger and lead to an underestimation of the energy content of food products. Nutrition claims can also influence food purchase intentions, moderated by the perceived healthfulness of the relevant food products and the health consciousness of individuals. Nutrition claims were also found to have an impact on food purchases, to influence ‘consumption guilt’ (i.e., feeling of guilt associated with eating), and to increase consumption, moderated by the weight status of individuals. These influences were shown to vary depending on the type of claim and food carrying the claim. There is evidence that, while nutrition claims may lead some consumers to improve their nutrition knowledge and select healthier options, it may also lead consumers to increase food consumption and overall energy intake. This may run counter to efforts to address overweight and obesity.

53 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This narrative review aims to identify the dietary management for lactose intolerant people, avoiding symptoms and nutrients deficiencies, helped by the use of specific labelling to guide them to choose the safer product on the market.
Abstract: Worldwide, 70% of the adult population has limited expression of lactase enzyme with a wide variation among different regions and countries Lactase deficiency may lead to lactose intolerance (LI) Depending both on the amount of lactose ingested and on the lactase activity, people who suffer from lactose malabsorption might experience numerous gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms and manifestations Treatment of LI mainly consists of reducing or eliminating lactose from the diet until the symptoms disappear as well as supplementing lactase, and inducing colon microbiome adaptation by probiotics Cow’s milk is one of the major source of calcium and several other vitamins and minerals Thus, a complete exclusion of dairy products may favor the development of bone diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis Therefore, the dietetic approach has a crucial role in the management of LI patients Additionally, the use of lactose and milk-derived products in non-dairy products (eg, baked goods, breakfast cereals, drinks, and processed meat) has become widespread in the modern industry (the so-called “hidden lactose”) In this regard, a strict adherence to the lactose-free diet becomes challenging for LI patients, forced to continuous check of all products and food labels In fact, lactose-free product labeling is still controversial Considering that nowadays a specific cut-off value establishing “lactose-free” labeling policy is lacking and that there is no universal law regulating the production and commercialization of “delactosed” products, identification of specific safe and suitable products with a well-recognized lactose-free logo might help consumers This narrative review aims to identify the dietary management for lactose intolerant people, avoiding symptoms and nutrients deficiencies, helped by the use of specific labelling to guide them to choose the safer product on the market

51 citations


Cites background from "Are food labels effective as a mean..."

  • ...Therefore, it is essential that LI individuals constantly check and monitor the labels of all food and drink products they consume [6, 70, 71]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
15 Dec 2020
TL;DR: Accurate and informative labeling of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products is an important public health issue and a better understanding of the basic framework for FDA labeling and marketing regulations for food, dietary supplements and drugs is warranted.
Abstract: Introduction: Interest in the therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD) has reached a fever-pitch in recent months, as CBD-containing products appear everywhere from online retailers to grocery stores and gas stations. The widespread availability of hemp-derived CBD products is confounding given that CBD is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug, and thus precluded from being added to food and beverages, or included in dietary supplements. The use by manufacturers of disease-related claims on marketing materials and product labels, along with the federal legalization of hemp in December 2018, has created political pressure on FDA to promulgate regulations. Conclusions: Accurate and informative labeling of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products is an important public health issue. FDA-regulated product labels are considered an essential tool for protecting consumers and enabling informed decision-making. Untruthful or unsubstantiated health-related claims, and unallowed Drug Claims, in marketing materials and on labels of CBD products may create harm by enticing consumers to forgo more evidence-based medical interventions. Furthermore, missing or inaccurate labeling of the amount of CBD, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and potentially harmful contaminants such as pesticides, naturally-occurring yeast and mold or heavy metals may result in harm and/or lack of efficacy. Manufacturers of these products may reasonably be expected to understand and adhere to FDA regulations for labeling and marketing of food, dietary supplements and drugs, both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription, even though FDA has interpreted federal law as excluding them from these categories. As manufacturers prepare for forthcoming regulations, a better understanding of the basic framework for FDA labeling and marketing regulations for food, dietary supplements and drugs is warranted.

28 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Ancel Keys International Seminar as discussed by the authors was held in Ascea (Italy) with the aim to stimulate interest and awareness of a young group of participants on the current problems inherent to the effective implementation of the Mediterranean diet.
Abstract: The year 2020 celebrated the tenth anniversary of the recognition of the Mediterranean Diet as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee. This event represented a milestone in the history of nutrition, as the Mediterranean diet was the first traditional food practice to receive such award. Since then, a lot has been discussed not only on the beneficial aspects of the Mediterranean diet, but also on its complex role as a lifestyle model that includes a set of skills, knowledge and intercultural dialogue. This process ended up with the recognition in 2019 of Mediterranean diet as a possibly universal model of healthy diet from the EAT-Lancet Commission. These concepts were widely debated at the 2019 "Ancel Keys" International Seminar, held in Ascea (Italy) (for more information see: www.mediterraneandietseminar.org) with the aim to stimulate interest and awareness of a young group of participants on the current problems inherent to the effective implementation of the Mediterranean diet. The present article collects the contributions of several lecturers at the Seminar on key issues such as methodological and experimental approach, sustainability, molecular aspects in disease prevention, future exploitation, without neglecting a historical view of the Seven Countries Study. From the Seminar conclusions emerged a still vibrant and modern role of Mediterranean diet. The years to come will see national and international efforts to reduce the barriers that limit adherence to Mediterranean diet in order to plan for multi-factorial and targeted interventions that would guide our populations to a sustainable healthy living.

22 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Frequent use of nutrition labels appears to be associated with lower consumption of sodium and high-sodium foods in the U.S. Given this small reduction, interventions such as enhancing nutrition label use could be less effective if implemented without other strategies.

19 citations

References
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Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: This chapter discusses a wide variety of variables that proved instrumental in affecting the elaboration likelihood, and thus the route to persuasion, and outlines the two basic routes to persuasion.
Abstract: Publisher Summary This chapter outlines the two basic routes to persuasion. One route is based on the thoughtful consideration of arguments central to the issue, whereas the other is based on the affective associations or simple inferences tied to peripheral cues in the persuasion context. This chapter discusses a wide variety of variables that proved instrumental in affecting the elaboration likelihood, and thus the route to persuasion. One of the basic postulates of the Elaboration Likelihood Model—that variables may affect persuasion by increasing or decreasing scrutiny of message arguments—has been highly useful in accounting for the effects of a seemingly diverse list of variables. The reviewers of the attitude change literature have been disappointed with the many conflicting effects observed, even for ostensibly simple variables. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) attempts to place these many conflicting results and theories under one conceptual umbrella by specifying the major processes underlying persuasion and indicating the way many of the traditionally studied variables and theories relate to these basic processes. The ELM may prove useful in providing a guiding set of postulates from which to interpret previous work and in suggesting new hypotheses to be explored in future research.

7,932 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors used the method of instrumental variables (IV) to estimate the impact of obesity on medical costs in order to address the endogeneity of weight and to reduce the bias from reporting error in weight.

1,329 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research conducted in 2003–2006 in the EU-15 countries on how consumers perceive, understand, like and use nutrition information on food labels is reviewed to provide new insights into consumer liking and understanding of simplified front of pack signposting formats.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to review research conducted in 2003–2006 in the EU-15 countries on how consumers perceive, understand, like and use nutrition information on food labels. Based on a search of databases on academic publications, Google-based search, and enquiries directed to a range of food retailers, food companies, consumer associations and government agencies, a total of 58 studies were identified. These studies were summarised using a standard format guided by a model of consumer information processing, and these summaries were subsequently processed using the MAXqda software in order to identify key findings and common themes across the studies. The studies show widespread consumer interest in nutrition information on food packages, though this interest varies across situations and products. Consumers like the idea of simplified front of pack information but differ in their liking for the various formats. Differences can be related to conflicting preferences for ease of use, being fully informed and not being pressurised into behaving in a particular way. Most consumers understand the most common signposting formats in the sense that they themselves believe that they understand them and they can replay key information presented to them in an experimental situation. There is, however, virtually no insight into how labelling information is, or will be, used in a real-world shopping situation, and how it will affect consumers’ dietary patterns. Results are largely in line with an earlier review by Cowburn and Stockley (Public Health Nutr 8:21–28, 2005), covering research up to 2002, but provide new insights into consumer liking and understanding of simplified front of pack signposting formats. There is an urgent need for more research studying consumer use of nutritional information on food labels in a real-world setting.

1,054 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Improvements in nutrition labelling could make a small but important contribution towards making the existing point-of-purchase environment more conducive to the selection of healthy choices.
Abstract: Objective To explore published and unpublished research into consumer understanding and use of nutrition labelling which is culturally applicable in Europe. Design A systematic review undertaken between July 2002 and February 2003. Results One hundred and three papers were identified that reported on consumer understanding or use of nutrition labelling, most originating from North America or northern Europe. Only a few studies (9%) were judged to be of high or medium-high quality. We found that reported use of nutrition labels is high but more objective measures suggest that actual use of nutrition labelling during food purchase may be much lower. Whether or not consumers can understand and use nutrition labelling depends on the purpose of the task. Available evidence suggests that consumers who do look at nutrition labels can understand some of the terms used but are confused by other types of information. Most appear able to retrieve simple information and make simple calculations and comparisons between products using numerical information, but their ability to interpret the nutrition label accurately reduces as the complexity of the task increases. The addition of interpretational aids like verbal descriptors and recommended reference values helps in product comparison and in putting products into a total diet context. Conclusions Improvements in nutrition labelling could make a small but important contribution towards making the existing point-of-purchase environment more conducive to the selection of healthy choices. In particular, interpretational aids can help consumers assess the nutrient contribution of specific foods to the overall diet.

808 citations

Trending Questions (2)
How food labelling can address or exacerbate societal issues?

Food labelling can address societal issues by promoting healthier food choices, but it may exacerbate issues if consumers prioritize overall quality over nutritional values.

How does food label awareness affect food choices?

Food label awareness can influence food choices by helping consumers make more informed and conscious decisions about the nutritional value of the products they purchase.