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Appetite. 2011 Apr;56(2):269-77. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Determinants of consumer understanding of health claims.

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1
MAPP Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Centre, Aarhus University, Haslegaardsvej 10, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark. KLG@asb.dk

Abstract

The new EU regulation on nutrition and health claims states that claims can be permitted only if they can be expected to be understood by consumers. Investigating determinants of consumer understanding of health claims has therefore become an important topic. Understanding of a health claim on a yoghurt product was investigated with a sample of 720 category users in Germany. Health claim understanding was measured using open answers, which were subsequently content analysed and classified by comparison with the scientific dossier of the health claim. Based on this respondents were classified as safe, risky or other. In addition to the open questions on claim understanding, respondents rated a number of statements on claim interpretation for agreement and completed scales on interest in healthy eating, attitude to functional foods, and subjective knowledge on food and health. Results showed that respondents with a positive attitude to functional foods are more likely to be classified as risky with regard to their claim understanding, whereas respondents with negative or neutral attitudes are more likely to be classified into the other category. Implications for testing claim understanding are discussed.

PMID:
21238525
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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