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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Nov-Dec;44(6):584-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2012.01.005. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Consumer understanding and use of food and nutrition labeling in Turkey.

Author information

  • 1Hacettepe University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkey. htbf@hacettepe.edu.tr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine patterns of food and nutrition labels use by Turkish consumers, and examine constraints on the use of this information.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey.

SETTING:

Twenty-six regions of Turkey.

PARTICIPANTS:

Consumers (n = 1,536), aged 12-56 years.

VARIABLES MEASURED:

Level of interest in food and nutrition labels, the perceived sources of information about nutrition, the performance of the food industry at labeling, and sociodemographic factors.

ANALYSIS:

Descriptive statistics and χ(2) statistics.

RESULTS:

The uses of food labels and nutrition labels were reported, respectively, by 76.5% and 72.4% of participants. Nutrition label use was significantly associated with sex, age, marital status, educational level, and socioeconomic status (P < .001 for all variables). Barriers to the use of nutrition labels included: the lack of understanding of terms, symbols, and values; poor presentation of the information; and concerns about the accuracy of the information. Consumers who wished to use nutrition labels to make healthful choices demanded a standardized location and format for the labels, as well as simplified information conveyed with comprehensible terms and statements.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

New strategies to encourage the effective consumer use of food and nutrition labels should include educational programs and revision of the label format.

Copyright © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22770836
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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