Nutrition labelling

An exploratory study on personal factors that influence the practice of reading nutrition labels among adolescents

Norsakira Jefrydin, Norazmir Md Nor, Ruzita Abd. Talib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: The consumption of processed food is increasing in developing countries. Nutrition labels on food packaging are important for the education of consumers, particularly adolescents, to help them make healthier food choices. However, there is evidence to suggest that adolescents generally do not use nutrition labels. This study aims to explore the personal factors that influence the practice of Malaysian adolescents in reading nutrition labels. Methods: The participants were adolescents, aged 13-16 years, from five public schools in Negeri Sembilan. Five semi-structured focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. The participants discussed their personal views, knowledge and perceptions regarding the use of nutrition labels and food selection. Data gathered from the FGDs were coded through thematic analysis using the NVivo software. Results: While the participants were familiar with nutrition labels, their usage was relatively low during food selection due to the lack of interest in nutrition information, past experiences, hunger and cravings, time constraints and the taste of the food. The main reasons for using nutrition labels were health consciousness and their curiosity about specific nutrition information provided on the labels. The majority of participants believed that information provided on the labels was accurate because it was provided by reliable institutions. There was also misperception among some participants, mixing up nutrition labels with list of ingredients and the expiry dates. A few participants were unconvinced by the labels and stated that the labels provided misleading information. Conclusion: Personal factors such as knowledge, misperception, awareness and trust significantly impact how adolescents read nutrition labels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalMalaysian Journal of Nutrition
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Fingerprint

Food Labeling
nutrition labeling
Reading
nutrition
Food Preferences
food choices
Focus Groups
Food
nutrition information
focus groups
Food Packaging
Exploratory Behavior
Hunger
adolescent nutrition
consumer education
craving
Consciousness
public schools
Developing Countries
food packaging

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Focus group discussion
  • Food choice
  • Nutrition labels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Nutrition labelling : An exploratory study on personal factors that influence the practice of reading nutrition labels among adolescents. / Jefrydin, Norsakira; Nor, Norazmir Md; Abd. Talib, Ruzita.

In: Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 143-154.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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