An Objective Examination of Consumer Perception of Nutrition Information Based on Healthiness Ratings and Eye Movements

University of Derby, Derby, England, United Kingdom
Public Health Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.68). 04/2007; 10(3):238-44. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980007258513
Source: PubMed


Previous research on nutrition labelling has mainly used subjective measures. This study examines the effectiveness of two types of nutrition label using two objective measures: eye movements and healthiness ratings.
Eye movements were recorded while participants made healthiness ratings for two types of nutrition label: standard and standard plus the Food Standards Agency's 'traffic light' concept.
University of Derby, UK.
A total of 92 participants (mean age 31.5 years) were paid for their participation. None of the participants worked in the areas of food or nutrition.
For the standard nutrition label, participant eye movements lacked focus and their healthiness ratings lacked accuracy. The traffic light system helped to guide the attention of the consumer to the important nutrients and improved the accuracy of the healthiness ratings of nutrition labels.
Consumers have a lack of knowledge regarding how to interpret nutrition information for standard labels. The traffic light concept helps to ameliorate this problem by indicating important nutrients to which to pay attention.

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    • "Similarly in our study, it is likely that consumers attaching more importance to sustainability aspects of food are also more involved in these aspects and will visually attend more to sustainability information during food choice. Eye-tracking technology has led to useful insights into consumers' use of nutritional information on food packages (Antúnez et al., 2013, 2015; Ares et al., 2014; Bialkova and van Trijp, 2010, 2011; Bialkova et al., 2013, 2014; Graham and Jeffery, 2011; Graham et al., in press; Jones and Richardson, 2007; Siegrist et al., 2015; van Herpen and van Trijp, 2011; Visschers et al., 2010). For a review of eye-tracking and nutrition information, see Graham et al. (2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sustainability labels are important tools that help consumers assess the sustainability aspects of food. While past studies have focused on visual attention to nutrition information, no study has investigated the visual attention paid by consumers to the sustainability information on food. Our study contributes to the need to better understand consumers' attention to sustainability information when making food choices. The objective was to explore the importance that consumers attach to sustainability attributes and investigate how this relates to the visual attention paid to these attributes during the choice decision and to willingness-to-pay (WTP). Visual attention during the decision making process was measured in terms of fixation time and fixation count, which were then analyzed in relation to the stated attribute importance. Our results suggest that consumer segments with differences in stated attribute importance, visually attend differently to these attributes. Higher valued attributes also exhibited higher visual attention. Our results suggest that consumers who spend more time attending to and fixate more on sustainability attributes value them more.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Ecological Economics
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    • "The use of eye tracking to examine associations between food labels and food choice is becoming more common (Bialkova et al., 2014; Jones & Richardson, 2007; Miller, 2014; Miller & Cassady, 2012; Miller et al., 2015; Nelson, Graham, & Harnack, 2014). Within our conceptual framework, attention is a form of frequency of use (how much or how often food label information is consulted) that is objectively assessed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nutrition information on food labels is an important source of nutrition information but is typically underutilized by consumers. This review examined whether consumer nutrition knowledge is important for communication of nutrition information through labels on packaged foods. A cognitive processing model posits that consumers with prior knowledge are more likely to use label information effectively, that is, focus on salient information, understand information, and make healthful decisions based on this information. Consistent with this model, the review found that nutrition knowledge provides support for food label use. However, nutrition knowledge measures varied widely in terms of the dimensions they included and the extensiveness of the assessment. Relatively few studies investigated knowledge effects on the use of ingredient lists and claims, compared to nutrition facts labels. We also found an overreliance on convenience samples relying on younger adults, limiting our understanding of how knowledge supports food label use in later life. Future research should 1) investigate which dimensions, or forms, of nutrition knowledge are most critical to food label use and dietary decision making and 2) determine whether increases in nutrition knowledge can promote great use of nutrition information on food labels. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Appetite
    • "The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code mandates the inclusion of a nutrition information panel on the majority of packaged foods (Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 2012a). However, nutrition information panels have been shown to be confusing for some consumers (Jones & Richardson, 2007) and are not immediately visible, as they are in small font and typically placed on the back or sides of packages. Interventions at the point-of-sale, such as front-of-pack (FOP) food labelling, may be useful for providing more accessible and comprehensible nutrition information to shoppers, to encourage and enable them to identify healthier food choices (Cowburn & Stockley, 2005; Feunekes, Gortemaker, Willems, Lion, & van den Kommer, 2008). "

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