Nutrition Label Viewing during a Food-Selection Task: Front-of-Package Labels vs Nutrition Facts Labels

Published:April 15, 2015DOI:



      Earlier research has identified consumer characteristics associated with viewing Nutrition Facts labels; however, little is known about those who view front-of-package nutrition labels. Front-of-package nutrition labels might appeal to more consumers than do Nutrition Facts labels, but it might be necessary to provide consumers with information about how to locate and use these labels.


      This study quantifies Nutrition Facts and front-of-package nutrition label viewing among American adult consumers.


      Attention to nutrition information was measured during a food-selection task.


      One hundred and twenty-three parents (mean age=38 years, mean body mass index [calculated as kg/m2]=28) and one of their children (aged 6 to 9 years) selected six foods from a university laboratory-turned-grocery aisle.


      Participants were randomized to conditions in which front-of-package nutrition labels were present or absent, and signage explaining front-of-package nutrition labels was present or absent.

      Main outcome measures

      Adults’ visual attention to Nutrition Facts labels and front-of-package nutrition labels was objectively measured via eye-tracking glasses.

      Statistical analyses performed

      To examine whether there were significant differences in the percentages of participants who viewed Nutrition Facts labels vs front-of-package nutrition labels, McNemar’s tests were conducted across all participants, as well as within various sociodemographic categories. To determine whether hypothesized factors, such as health literacy and education, had stronger relationships with front-of-package nutrition label vs Nutrition Facts label viewing, linear regression assessed the magnitude of relationships between theoretically and empirically derived factors and each type of label viewing.


      Overall, front-of-package nutrition labels were more likely to be viewed than Nutrition Facts labels; however, for all subgroups, higher rates of front-of-package nutrition label viewership occurred only when signage was present drawing attention to the presence and meaning of front-of-package nutrition labels.


      Consumers should receive education about the availability and use of new nutrition labels.


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      D. J. Graham is an assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.


      C. Heidrick is a graduate student, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.


      K. Hodgin is a graduate student, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

      Linked Article

      • Erratum
        Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsVol. 115Issue 12
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          The Original Research article, “Nutrition Label Viewing during a Food-Selection Task: Front-of-Package Labels vs Nutrition Fact Labels,” by Graham and colleagues that appeared in the October 2015 issue of the Journal (pp 1636-1646) contains an error on page 1643. In Table 2, the last row of the “Characteristics” column is incorrectly labeled as “Physical activity ≥75 MET min/wki.” That row should be correctly labeled as “Physical activity <75 MET min/wki.”
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