News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Current food labelling not good enough

Current food labelling not good enough
 
January 12, 2014
 
Nutritional food labels are not as effective as once thought and could be impacting on the health of New Zealanders, University of Canterbury (UC) research has discovered.
 
Consumers react better to labels which provide relatable, transparent information that is easily converted into exercise expenditure or clearly states which products are good and which are bad.
 
The UC marketing study collected a total of 591 online responses. Participants were given an identical survey, only the way in which the nutritional information was communicated, differed.
 
Postgraduate student Michelle Bouton says the items labels included walking and running labels which stated how many minutes of exercise were needed to burn off the product.
 
``We also included a star system which displayed one, two or three stars on the product, depending on how many calories were in it. A traffic light label was divided into five categories of the main nutritional components and coloured red (bad), orange (moderate) or green (good).
 
``Our findings showed that the current daily intake system was so insignificant that only 23 percent of participants recalled seeing it. This was alarmingly low compared to the recall rate of the running (89 percent), walking (93 percent) and traffic light label (70 percent).
 
``Our study found that those who were presented with the walking label were most likely to make healthier consumption choices, regardless of their level of preventive health behavior.
 
``Therefore, consumers who reported to be unhealthier were likely to modify their current negative behaviour and exercise, select a healthier alternative or avoid the unhealthy product entirely when told they would need to briskly walk for one hour and 41 minutes to burn off the product.
 
``The traffic light system was found to be effective in deterring consumers from unhealthy foods, while also encouraging them to consume healthy products.
 
``Although the running label was found to be effective with participants who reported a healthy lifestyle, it was found to be ineffective with those who were yet to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A consumer who does not actively exercise is less likely to start running than a consumer who is already active.’’
 
Associate Professor Ekant Veer, who supervised the study, says the findings differ from what people initially thought would be an effective communication method.
 
``Information and numeric figures are ineffective at aiding consumers with low levels of health literacy to make healthy consumption choices. Images and colours are found to be much more effective and understandable forms of communication.
 
``As the overwhelmingly high obesity rates in New Zealand continue to climb, something needs to be done to improve the health of our society. This information provides valuable insight into understanding consumption behaviours’ associated to food labels. New Zealand still has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news