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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Dec;108(12):2071-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.09.009.

Using nutrition labeling as a potential tool for changing eating habits of university dining hall patrons.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Health Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0806, USA. jdriskell@unl.edu


The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the influence of the nutritional labeling Nutrition Bytes on the eating habits of adults eating in dining halls at a Midwestern university and to assess differences between sexes. Dining hall patrons (114 men, 91 women) 19 years of age or older voluntarily completed a descriptive 15-item written questionnaire that examined the use and nonuse of Nutrition Bytes, which contains much of the information included in the Nutrition Facts label. A significantly higher percentage of women than men patrons reported currently using Nutrition Bytes labels (P<0.001). Predominant reasons for using Nutrition Bytes labels were: general knowledge, concern about overall health, calorie counting, and concern about a certain nutrient(s). Predominant reasons given for not using Nutrition Bytes labels were: will not change my mind about food items selected and not enough time. Reasons given by men and women for using or not using Nutrition Bytes labels were similar. Significantly higher percentages of women than men using Nutrition Bytes labels indicated being interested in having serving sizes (P<0.005) and ingredients (P<0.0005) listed, whereas higher percentages of men than women indicated being interested in having protein listed (P<0.05). The percentages of users who indicated nearly always and sometimes changing their food choices after reading Nutrition Bytes labels inside the dining halls were 12% and 80%, respectively, whereas 23% and 65%, respectively, indicated changing their food choices after reading the nutrition label when eating outside the dining halls. Nutrition Bytes labeling seemed to positively impact food choices of these adult dining hall patrons, and likely would do so at other dining halls.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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