Summary The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutrition label-reading skills of women to determine the impact of demographic and health factors on label-usage behaviours and label-reading knowledge. A sample of 453 women was surveyed to determine their label-usage behaviours and label-reading knowledge. 80% of all participants reported that they were ‘label readers’ (i.e. they always or sometimes read labels), however, only about one-quarter indicated that they always read nutrition labels. Three out of four participants reported that labels always or sometimes affected their purchasing decisions. In general, participants had fairly well-developed label-reading knowledge. However, further analysis revealed that certain subgroups were the least proficient at using nutrition labelling (i.e. older women, women with no postsecondary education, and women who perceived their health to be fair to poor). We conclude that nutrition labelling education programmes can help consumers to use nutrition labels to improve the quality of their diets. While probably all consumer groups could benefit from labelling education, the least proficient groups deserve special attention. Labelling education efforts targeted to a subgroup's needs and interests and delivered in a manner that is readily accessible and acceptable to them is key to maximising the impact of nutrition labels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Nutrition Facts label