Health & Nutrition / Publication Abstract

Do consumers view the nutrition facts panel when making healthfulness assessments of food products? Antecedents and consequences

Mar 13, 2020

Manoj Hastak, Anusree Mitra, Debra J. Ringold

Health & Nutrition

Abstract

Consumer use of the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP) is an important topic of interest to researchers and public policymakers. Studies conducted in the United States and elsewhere find high levels of self-reported use of the NFP or its equivalent. However, data from self-reports may inflate estimated NFP use due to social desirability problems. Utilizing data from an online experiment, we examine whether consumers choose to view the NFP when assessing the nutritional properties and disease-fighting abilities of foods. We also examine the antecedents of NFP-viewing behavior and its implications for the accuracy of healthfulness judgments and the potential for overgeneralization. We conclude with a discussion of the public policy implications of our results and point to directions for future research.

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