Putting Nutrition Labels on Food Before Packaging May Help Promote Healthy Eating: Study

Eating packaged food is common in the world of time pressures. They’re quick, easy, and help you prepare a meal in less time. While some of these packaged products are often considered unhealthy due to their high fat, carbohydrate, and preservative content, some other foods are known to be packaged with nutritional consideration in mind.

Therefore, experts always recommend checking the nutritional labels on the product packaging before purchasing. But the question here is, how many of us actually check the label before buying a product? If you look around you will find a number of people who ignore the nutrition label on the packaging when buying food. One of the possible reasons for this could be the placement of the label on the packaging (usually on the back).

A new study found that putting these nutrition labels on the front of the package can help people better know what they are eating. At the same time, this practice can also help improve the nutritional quality of food (from the manufacturer). This study was published in the Journal of Marketing by Joon Ho Lim, Rishika Rishika, Ramkumar Janakiraman, and P. K. Kannan.

The researchers examined the nutritional data for different food categories and concluded four sets of results. According to ANI, the results are as follows:

  1. The introduction of nutrition labeling (FOP) on the front of the package in a product category leads to a significant improvement in the nutritional quality of foods in that category.
  2. The impact of FOP is strongest in high-end brands (high-priced brands) and brands with narrower product lines.
  3. The introduction of FOP has a greater impact on unhealthy categories and categories with more intense competition.
  4. Manufacturers increase the nutritional quality of products by reducing calorie content and limiting nutrients such as sugar, sodium, and saturated fat.

“This means that policymakers, in collaboration with food manufacturers and retailers, should encourage the adoption of voluntary, standardized, and transparent labelling programs and consider options for expanding the information contained on FOP labels.” We believe that legislators should also invest in awareness campaigns to educate consumers about the value of FOP labels and this would further stimulate food manufacturers to offer nutritionally better products, ”said researcher Joon Ho Lim.

The researchers also claimed that this side of packaging labelling will also help consumers buy relatively healthier food products.

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