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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Misleading health claims? Some food labels are uncorrelated with actual nutritional quality, research finds

May 5, 2019: from the Packaging Insights and Journal of Public Policy & Marketing

"Focus group had a more positive attitude toward claims that are based on the presence of something “good”, compared to claims touting the absence of something 'bad'."

The "paper’s co-authors developed and tested a classification of front-of-pack claims. They also established the disconnect between the nutritional profile and the front-of-pack claims on breakfast cereals and milk products, and how the types of claim predict consumers’ choices between different foods with or without food claims. In the 633 breakfast cereals included in one of their studies, 460 had a health or nutrition claim on the package."

"Researchers found that consumers had a more positive attitude toward claims that are based on the presence of something good, compared to claims that are about the absence of something bad. For example, people expected breakfast cereals with both “adding positives claims” (“high protein,” “high fiber”) and “not removing positives claims” (“all natural,” “made with whole grains,” “wholesome”) to be healthier than brands with claims about “removing negatives claims” or “not adding negatives claims,” even if the messages claimed the absence of something considered to be harmful."

"Although there was no link between the type of claim and overall nutrition quality for breakfast cereals, consumers expected the type of claim to be a strong predictor of the healthiness, taste and dieting properties of the products. None of the claims the researchers surveyed explicitly said that the product would make people healthier (or help them lose weight or stay thin), yet consumers interpreted these claims as such. And their perceptions influenced their choices."

"The correlation between the type of ‘healthy’ claim made and the actual nutritional quality of the breakfast cereal was almost zero."

"The importance of how the nutritional content of foods is communicated via labels to consumers has come under the spotlight in recent years, especially when seemingly healthy products are uncovered as containing high levels of sugar or salt."

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