People who read custom food labels tend to choose foods with fewer calories, less saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and sugars. Or, in other words, people who read these custom food labels have healthier diets than those who don’t pay any attention to this information, and a new study proves this statement.
Researchers analyzing data from a 2005-06 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that nearly 62% of respondents said they read the nutrition facts labels before making a food purchase. Further, nearly 52% examine the list of ingredients, 47% pay attention to the serving size and nearly 44% review health claims at least some of the time when deciding which food product to purchase.
There were significant health differences between readers of custom food labels and non-readers. Researchers of the study stated that people who took the time to read the custom food labels had dramatic increases in their intake of total calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and dietary fibers / sugars.
“If the food label is to have a greater public health impact, rates of use will likely need to be increased among U.S. adults,” said study author Nicholas J. Ollberding, a professor in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, at Columbia University.
“Low rates of label use also suggest that food labels may need to be modified,” Ollberding added. Suggested changes to the current label could include bolding calorie information, reporting the total nutrient intake for foods likely to be consumed in a single sitting, and using more intuitive labeling techniques such as the use of red, yellow and green inks on the label itself.
So, what does all this mean to those of us in the label industry or our customers – actual purchasers of custom food labels?
Nothing specific just yet. There are no mandated changes for requirements on food / nutrition labels at this specific time. But, they may be coming at some point down the road. We will do our best to keep you posted as to changes in FDA requirements. In the mean time, however, please feel free to visit the custom food labels page of our site for a listing of products we offer and more information.
And, if you’d like even more info on this subject, please visit the FDA’s website…
Have a question or comment about food or nutrition facts labels? Please leave your comment below and we will get back to you with a personal response.
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