Wall Street Jouranl Health and Wellness 12/13/11
By ANN LUKITS
A simulated grocery-shopping experiment found that consumers have a limited attention span for nutrition labels on food packaging, and that they read the labels far less frequently than they say they do, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Research.
Researchers recruited 203 people, mostly women, from Minnesota last year to view computer images of 64 foods. A brief description, price, and Nutrition Facts label were also displayed. The participants were unaware of an eye-tracker device that measured how long they viewed each component on the screen. The participants later completed a questionnaire about their normal shopping habits.
A third of the participants reported on questionnaires that they usually look at calorie content on labels. Nearly a third said the same for fat content, 20% for trans fats, 24% for sugar, and 26% for serving size. Eye-tracking data, however, showed that only 9% of the participants looked at calorie content on roughly 80% of items and even fewer