Web MD -- All eyes have been on front-of-package nutrition labeling recently, with the release of the Institute of Medicine's recommendations to help bring some consistency to front-of-pack systems. That's great if we can unify the various efforts that call out nutritional attributes on packaged foods. Not sure if these new recommendations totally nailed it, but this is certainly an issue worth tackling.
What you see on the front of the label, however, is never going to be the full story. It's still important to turn the package around and look at the Nutrition Facts panel that provides more detailed data on what's inside. Consumers say they're reading these labels, but an interesting study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association begs to differ. Researchers at the University of Minnesota used an eye-tracking device to see if shoppers were truly scouring those nutrition labels like they said they were.
The shoppers said one thing, but their eyes said another. Among the 203 study participants, 33% said they always look at the calories on the nutrition label, yet the eye-tracking tracking device found that only 9% actually checked the calories. Only 1% looked at other components on the label, even though they said they almost always look at total fat (31%), trans fat (20%), sugar (24%) and serving size (26%).
What shoppers do tend to look at are the nutrition claims on the front of a package. Here are 6 claims that need a second look before you toss the products into your shopping cart.
So what does thi all mean? Go beyond the trendy words on the front of the package and check the nutrition facts and ingredients on the back to know what you're really buying. Keep your eyes wide open when evaluating claims.