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Grunert K.G.,University of Aarhus | Wills J.M.,EUFIC European Food Information Council | Fernandez-Celemin L.,EUFIC European Food Information Council
Appetite | Year: 2010

Based on in-store observations in three major UK retailers, in-store interviews (2019) and questionnaires filled out at home and returned (921), use of nutrition information on food labels and its understanding were investigated. Respondents' nutrition knowledge was also measured, using a comprehensive instrument covering knowledge of expert recommendations, nutrient content in different food products, and calorie content in different food products. Across six product categories, 27% of shoppers were found to have looked at nutrition information on the label, with guideline daily amount (GDA) labels and the nutrition grid/table as the main sources consulted. Respondents' understanding of major front-of-pack nutrition labels was measured using a variety of tasks dealing with conceptual understanding, substantial understanding and health inferences. Understanding was high, with up to 87.5% of respondents being able to identify the healthiest product in a set of three. Differences between level of understanding and level of usage are explained by different causal mechanisms. Regression analysis showed that usage is mainly related to interest in healthy eating, whereas understanding of nutrition information on food labels is mainly related to nutrition knowledge. Both are in turn affected by demographic variables, but in different ways. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Grunert K.G.,University of Aarhus | Fernandez-Celemin L.,EUFIC European Food Information Council | Wills J.M.,EUFIC European Food Information Council | Bonsmann S.S.G.,EUFIC European Food Information Council | Nureeva L.,University of Aarhus
Journal of Public Health | Year: 2010

Aim the goal of the study was to investigate the use of nutrition information on food labels and understanding of guideline daily amount (GDA) front-of-pack nutrition labels in six European countries.Subjects and methods In-store observations and in-store interviews were conducted in major retailers in the UK (n=2019), Sweden (n=1858), France (n=2337), Germany (n=1963), Poland (n=1800) and Hungary (n=1804), supplemented by questionnaires filled out at home and returned (overall response rate 50.3%).Use of labels was measured by combining in-store observations and in-store interviews on concrete purchases in six product categories.Understanding of GDA front-of-pack nutrition labels was measured by a variety of tasks dealing with conceptual understanding, substantial understanding and health inferences.Demographics, nutrition knowledge and interest in healthy eating were measured as potential determinants.Results across six product categories, 16.8% of shoppers were found to have looked for nutrition information on the label, with the nutrition grid (table or list), GDA labels and the ingredients list as the main sources consulted and calories, fat and sugar the information most often looked for.Understanding of GDA labels was high in the UK,Sweden and Germany,and more limited in the other countries.Regression analysis showed that, in addition to country-specific differences,use and understanding are also affected by differences in interest in healthy eating and in nutrition knowledge and by social grade.Conclusion understanding of nutrition information seems to be more widespread than use, suggesting that lack of use is a question of not only understanding, but also motivation.Considerable national differences exist in both understanding and use, some of which may be attributed to different histories of the role of nutrition in the public debate. © The Author(s) 2009. Source

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