Do dietary intakes affect search for nutrient information on food labels?

Rivista Social science & medicine (1982)

Numero Volume 59 Issue 9 Nov/2004

Autori Jordan Lin, Lee, Yen



Nutrition labels on food
packages are designed to promote and protect public health by providing
nutrition information so that consumers can make informed dietary choices. High
levels of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in diets are linked to increased
blood cholesterol levels and a greater risk of heart disease. Therefore, an
understanding of consumer use of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
information on food labels has important implications for public health and
nutrition education. This study explores the association between dietary
intakes of these three nutrients and psychological or demographic factors and
the search for total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol information on food
labels. Psychology literature suggests a negative association between intakes
of these nutrients and probability of search for their information on food
labels. Health behavior theories also suggest perceived benefits and costs of
using labels and perceived capability of using labels are associated with the
search behavior. We estimate the relationship between label information search
and its predictors using logistic regressions. Our samples came from the
1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and Diet and Health
Knowledge Survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture. Results
suggest that search for total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol information
on food labels is less likely among individuals who consume more of the three
nutrients, respectively. The search is also related to perceived benefits and
costs of using the label, perceived capability of using the label, knowledge of
nutrition and fats, perceived efficacy of diets in reducing the risk of
illnesses, perceived importance of nutrition in food shopping, perceived
importance of a healthy diet, and awareness of linkage between excessive
consumption of the nutrients and health problems. These findings suggest
encouraging search of food label information among consumers with unhealthy
dietary habits would need innovative approaches. Yet, nutrition education can
be instrumental in encouraging this search by stimulating motivation and
providing technical help.


Keywords: dieta, etichettatura, alimentazione, alimenti,