Nutrition Label & Healthier Food Choice
Lifestyle & Wellness

Nutrition Label & Healthier Food Choice

Do the consumers read nutrition labels before purchasing? Does the nutrition label affect dietary choice and pattern? Does reading the nutrition labels lead to healthier food choices? 

A four-week randomized, controlled intervention trial involving 1225 participants on the effects of nutrition labels on consumer food purchases may shed some light on the above question.[1] Nutrition labels were viewed for 23% of all purchased products, decreasing frequency over time. Shoppers were most likely to view nutrition labels for convenience foods, cereals, snack foods, bread and bakery products, and oils.[1] They were least likely to view labels for sugar, honey products, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables, and meat.[1] Products for which participants viewed the label and subsequently purchased the product during the same shopping episode were significantly healthier than products where labels were, but the product was not subsequently purchased.[1] The authors concluded that a significant association exists between nutrition label use and the healthiness of products purchased.[1] Nutrition label use may therefore lead to healthier food purchases. 

Though the mentioned study was conducted a few years ago, I believe the results may still be valid, as shoppers are becoming more discerning towards healthier dietary practices.


[1] Ni Mhurchu, Cliona, Eyles, Helen, Jiang, Yannan & Blakely, Tony. 2018. Do nutrition labels influence healthier food choices? Analysis of label viewing behaviour and subsequent food purchases in a labelling intervention trial. Appetite 121: 360-365.

Posted by Dr. Loke Wai Mun