Clearer food labels might help with healthy food choice: study
FDA researchers, whose results appeared in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that people were best at assessing things like chips and frozen meals - and comparing the healthfulness of multiple products - when the nutrition facts were presented for the entire container's worth of food, or for both one serving and the entire container.
This does away with the need to multiply the nutrition facts listed by the number of servings per package if people want to eat it all, researchers said.
"I think people really have a hard time interpreting what food labels mean," said Eric Matheson, a nutrition researcher from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
"It's almost like there's information overload," added Matheson, who did not work on the study.
Amy Lando and Serena Lo from the FDA surveyed close to 9,500 U.S. adults, showing them one of the 10 different types of food labels that presented calories and nutrients per serving, or per container, in a variety of ways.
Participants were asked how healthy they thought different products were, including how much fat, for example, was in one serving. They then compared types of chips or frozen meals to determine which was healthier.
Currently, manufacturers are given a lot of leeway when it comes
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