Reading nutrition labels can be a very confusing prospect. With the complex regulations behind food labeling, it is not surprising that consumers are less likely to investigate what is in their food. However, this trend is changing. More people are reading nutrition labels on prepackaged foods at least some of the time.
Nutrition labels have been used in prepackaged and processed foods in the United States since the 1970s. The US Food and Drug Administration has regularly conducted Health and Diet surveys regarding a variety of topics including the purpose of, understanding of, and use of nutrition labels.
Similar studies in India and China investigate this worldwide phenomenon of among consumers taking a greater interest in their consumption of prepackaged foods and their health.
All three studies indicate a certain degree of knowledge of the food label and at least cursory understanding and use of its information. Participants in all three studies varied among age, income, education, occupation, or ethnic groups.
Studies such as these help policy makers understand consumer knowledge and attitudes which then guide them in making nutrition labels changes required of food manufacturers as well as revising national dietary guidelines and the educational materials associated with these changes.
Healthy individuals make for a healthy population. A healthy population makes for a healthy country. Informed consumers read their nutrition labels and often factor in the healthiness of the product in their purchasing decisions.
Your weight loss professionals at your local Metabolic Medical Center can help you with deciphering a complex nutritional label.