Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Consumer Label Use Down According to USDA Economic Research Service

I've just finished reading the USDA Economic Research Service's recent report titled: The Decline In Consumer Use of Food Nutrition Labels, 1995-2006. The report is dated August 11, 2008.

This report examines changes in consumers' use of nutrition labels on food packages between 1995-96 and 2005-06. The analysis finds that, although a majority of consumers report using nutrition labels when buying food, use has declined for most label components, including the Nutrition Facts panel and information about calories, fats, cholesterol, and sodium. By contrast, use of fiber information has increased. The decline in label use is particularly marked for the cohort of adults less than 30 years old.

I find the conclusions of the report difficult to believe, and intuitively believe this issue should be studied with a larger sample and conducted by an independent organization.

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