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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Nov-Dec;44(6):624-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Nutrition claims influence health perceptions and taste preferences in fourth- and fifth-grade children.

Author information

1
Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3104, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether children perceive food with nutrition claims as healthier and tasting differently than those without claims.

METHODS:

Fourth- and fifth-graders (n = 47) from 3 California schools participated. Two identical products (cookies, crackers, or juice) were placed in front of product packages, 1 with a nutrition claim, the other without. Each child was asked which product was healthier and which tasted better.

RESULTS:

The percentage of children who identified the reduced-fat cookie, whole-grain cracker, or 100% juice as healthier was 81%, 83% and 81%, respectively. The taste of the "healthier" product (ie, with nutrition claim) was preferred by 72%, 67%, and 54%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

A convenience sample of children perceived products with a nutrition claim as healthier and identified the "healthier" cookies and crackers as tasting better. Future research should examine whether food labeling can be used to encourage children to consume healthier diets.

PMID:
23010013
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2012.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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