The science on front-of-package food labels

Kristy L. Hawley, Christina A. Roberto, Marie A. Bragg, Peggy J. Liu, Marlene B. Schwartz, Kelly D. Brownell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objective The US Food and Drug Administration and Institute of Medicine are currently investigating front-of-package (FOP) food labelling systems to provide science-based guidance to the food industry. The present paper reviews the literature on FOP labelling and supermarket shelf-labelling systems published or under review by February 2011 to inform current investigations and identify areas of future research. Design A structured search was undertaken of research studies on consumer use, understanding of, preference for, perception of and behaviours relating to FOP/shelf labelling published between January 2004 and February 2011. Results Twenty-eight studies from a structured search met inclusion criteria. Reviewed studies examined consumer preferences, understanding and use of different labelling systems as well as label impact on purchasing patterns and industry product reformulation. Conclusions The findings indicate that the Multiple Traffic Light system has most consistently helped consumers identify healthier products; however, additional research on different labelling systems' abilities to influence consumer behaviour is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-439
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Front-of-package food labelling
  • Nutrition labelling
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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  • Cite this

    Hawley, K. L., Roberto, C. A., Bragg, M. A., Liu, P. J., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. (2013). The science on front-of-package food labels. Public Health Nutrition, 16(3), 430-439. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980012000754