Survey says "Nutrition Facts" is communicating

Congress mandated it, the food industry fought it, and converters scrambled mightily to incorporate it on the labels and packaging materials they produce for U.S.

food marketers. But now that the "Nutrition Facts" box is a fact of life, are consumers even aware of it, much less changing their eating habits because of it? To find out, Prevention magazine and the Cable News Network had Parkwood Research Associates, Allen-town, PA, conduct a telephone survey of 1ꯧ adults 18 and older in the continental U.S. from July 31 to August 2. The results, says Parkwood, are projectable to the entire nation. Though still not universally recognized (44% of respondents said they've seen the label, 49% said no), the Nutrition Facts label is viewed as a significant improvement over the old label. Of those who've seen the label * 70% say it is "more clear and understandable" than the old label, * 90% say it makes it easier to tell if a food is high in fat, and * 27% have stopped buying a food product they used to buy regularly; of these, 65% said the reason was fat content, 22% because of sodium. Also, while 80% of the people who have seen the new label say they are familiar with the term "Percent of Daily Value," only about half of these people understand what it means. For more information about the survey, contact Prevention magazine at 610/967-8621.

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