food labeling


Summary: Use of written, printed, or graphic materials upon or accompanying a food or its container or wrapper. The concept includes ingredients, NUTRITIONAL VALUE, directions, warnings, and other relevant information.

Top Publications

  1. Hersey J, Wohlgenant K, Arsenault J, Kosa K, Muth M. Effects of front-of-package and shelf nutrition labeling systems on consumers. Nutr Rev. 2013;71:1-14 pubmed publisher
    ..More research is needed to determine the effects of FOP nutrition labeling on consumers' actual shopping behaviors and dietary intakes. ..
  2. Corvalan C, Reyes M, Garmendia M, Uauy R. Structural responses to the obesity and non-communicable diseases epidemic: the Chilean Law of Food Labeling and Advertising. Obes Rev. 2013;14 Suppl 2:79-87 pubmed publisher
    In 12 July 2012, the Chilean Senate approved the Law of Food Labeling and Advertising, resulting from the joint efforts of a group of health professionals, researchers and legislators who proposed a regulatory framework in support of ..
  3. Wills J, Storcksdieck genannt Bonsmann S, Kolka M, Grunert K. European consumers and health claims: attitudes, understanding and purchasing behaviour. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012;71:229-36 pubmed publisher
    ..As most studies on consumers' understanding of health claims are based on subjective understanding, this remains an area for more investigation. ..
  4. Swartz J, Braxton D, Viera A. Calorie menu labeling on quick-service restaurant menus: an updated systematic review of the literature. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:135 pubmed publisher
    ..The current evidence suggests that calorie labeling does not have the intended effect of decreasing calorie purchasing or consumption. ..
  5. Pantazopoulos P, Kwong K, Lillycrop W, Wong L, Gao Y, Chalouh S, et al. Trans and saturated fat on food labels in Canada: fact or fiction?. Can J Public Health. 2011;102:313-6 pubmed
    ..The results demonstrate that Canadians can rely on food labels for making informed dietary choices with respect to trans fat and saturated fat content. ..
  6. Dumanovsky T, Huang C, Nonas C, Matte T, Bassett M, Silver L. Changes in energy content of lunchtime purchases from fast food restaurants after introduction of calorie labelling: cross sectional customer surveys. BMJ. 2011;343:d4464 pubmed publisher
    ..After regulation, one in six lunchtime customers used the calorie information provided, and these customers made lower calorie choices. ..
  7. Elbel B. Consumer estimation of recommended and actual calories at fast food restaurants. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011;19:1971-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall knowledge remains low even with labeling. Additional public policies likely need to be considered to influence obesity on a large scale. ..
  8. Urban L, McCrory M, Dallal G, Das S, Saltzman E, Weber J, et al. Accuracy of stated energy contents of restaurant foods. JAMA. 2011;306:287-93 pubmed publisher
    ..001). Stated energy contents of restaurant foods were accurate overall. However, there was substantial inaccuracy for some individual foods, with understated energy contents for those with lower energy contents. ..
  9. Vadiveloo M, Dixon L, Elbel B. Consumer purchasing patterns in response to calorie labeling legislation in New York City. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:51 pubmed publisher
    ..However, overall impact of the legislation may be limited. More research is needed to understand the most effective way to deliver calorie information to consumers. ..

More Information


  1. Zeželj I, Milošević J, Stojanović Z, Ognjanov G. The motivational and informational basis of attitudes toward foods with health claims. Appetite. 2012;59:960-7 pubmed publisher
    ..The implications of these findings for functional approach to attitudes, understanding the demand for functional food and overcoming barriers to dietary change are discussed. ..
  2. Dowray S, Swartz J, Braxton D, Viera A. Potential effect of physical activity based menu labels on the calorie content of selected fast food meals. Appetite. 2013;62:173-81 pubmed publisher
    ..Whether these labels are effective in real-life scenarios remains to be tested. ..
  3. Rowlands G, Khazaezadeh N, Oteng Ntim E, Seed P, Barr S, Weiss B. Development and validation of a measure of health literacy in the UK: the newest vital sign. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:116 pubmed publisher
    ..It has potential uses in public health research including epidemiological surveys and randomized controlled trials, and in enabling practitioners to tailor care to patient need. ..
  4. Ellison B, Lusk J, Davis D. Looking at the label and beyond: the effects of calorie labels, health consciousness, and demographics on caloric intake in restaurants. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013;10:21 pubmed publisher
    ..To reach a broader group of diners, a symbolic calorie label may be preferred as it reduced caloric intake across all levels of health consciousness. ..
  5. Doell D, Folmer D, Lee H, Honigfort M, Carberry S. Updated estimate of trans fat intake by the US population. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2012;29:861-74 pubmed publisher
  6. Dummer J. Sodium reduction in Canadian food products with the health check program. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2012;73:e227-32 pubmed publisher
    ..The Health Check program prompted participants to reformulate existing products or formulate new products to meet the criteria for sodium. All participants agreed that the new 2010 Health Check criteria will affect them. ..
  7. Wellard L, Glasson C, Chapman K, Miller C. Fast facts: The availability and accessibility of nutrition information in fast food chains. Health Promot J Austr. 2011;22:184-8 pubmed
    ..Fast food chains should provide comprehensive, up-to-date information for all menu items. Chains should also ensure their staff members are adequately trained in providing nutrition information. ..
  8. Pettigrew S, Pescud M. The salience of food labeling among low-income families with overweight children. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2013;45:332-9 pubmed publisher
    To explore the role of food labeling among low-income families with overweight children. A longitudinal, qualitative study involving interviews, focus groups, and self-introspections. Perth, Western Australia...
  9. Wu H, Sturm R. What's on the menu? A review of the energy and nutritional content of US chain restaurant menus. Public Health Nutr. 2013;16:87-96 pubmed publisher
    ..The paper provides a comprehensive view of chain restaurant menu nutrition prior to nationwide labelling laws. It offers baseline data to evaluate how restaurants respond after laws are implemented. ..
  10. Barnett J, Muncer K, Leftwich J, Shepherd R, Raats M, Gowland M, et al. Using 'may contain' labelling to inform food choice: a qualitative study of nut allergic consumers. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:734 pubmed publisher
    ..Neither food safety nor foods labelling legislation address this issue. The aim of this study is to understand how peanut and nut allergic adults interpret 'may contain' labelling and how they use this information when purchasing food...
  11. Vyth E, Hendriksen M, Roodenburg A, Steenhuis I, Van Raaij J, Verhagen H, et al. Consuming a diet complying with front-of-pack label criteria may reduce cholesterol levels: a modeling study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012;66:510-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings were independent of other potential effects on related health outcomes. ..
  12. Barnett J, Leftwich J, Muncer K, Grimshaw K, Shepherd R, Raats M, et al. How do peanut and nut-allergic consumers use information on the packaging to avoid allergens?. Allergy. 2011;66:969-78 pubmed publisher
    ..We aimed to understand the complex risk assessment decisions made by peanut and nut-allergic adults when purchasing food, with particular reference to use of printed package information...
  13. Elbel B, Gyamfi J, Kersh R. Child and adolescent fast-food choice and the influence of calorie labeling: a natural experiment. Int J Obes (Lond). 2011;35:493-500 pubmed publisher
    ..We did not find evidence that labeling influenced adolescent food choice or parental food choices for children in this population. ..
  14. Sacks G, Tikellis K, Millar L, Swinburn B. Impact of 'traffic-light' nutrition information on online food purchases in Australia. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2011;35:122-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Further research is needed to examine the impact of providing TLNI in different contexts, for a longer duration and on more products, with and without complementary awareness and information campaigns. ..
  15. Saelens B, Chan N, Krieger J, Nelson Y, Boles M, Colburn T, et al. Nutrition-labeling regulation impacts on restaurant environments. Am J Prev Med. 2012;43:505-11 pubmed publisher
    ..Additional opportunities exist for improving the healthfulness of away-from-home eating beyond menu labeling. ..
  16. Pomeranz J. The unique authority of state and local health departments to address obesity. Am J Public Health. 2011;101:1192-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Health departments have many options to effect change in the incidence of obesity but need the support of other government entities and officials. ..
  17. Morley B, Martin J, Niven P, Wakefield M. Public opinion on food-related obesity prevention policy initiatives. Health Promot J Austr. 2012;23:86-91 pubmed
    ..Overall, these findings indicate that there is strong public support for the introduction of policy initiatives aimed at creating a healthier food environment. ..
  18. Roodenburg A, Popkin B, Seidell J. Development of international criteria for a front of package food labelling system: the International Choices Programme. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011;65:1190-200 pubmed publisher
    ..Completed studies have demonstrated an increase in consumer awareness, a positive effect on product innovation and a potential impact on nutrient intakes. ..
  19. Temme E, van der Voet H, Roodenburg A, Bulder A, van Donkersgoed G, van Klaveren J. Impact of foods with health logo on saturated fat, sodium and sugar intake of young Dutch adults. Public Health Nutr. 2011;14:635-44 pubmed publisher
    ..For additional reductions, lowering the fat/sodium content of meat (products) towards health logo criteria and drinks without sugar towards limits far below health logo criteria would be the most effective reformulation strategy. ..
  20. Ollberding N, Wolf R, Contento I. Food label use and its relation to dietary intake among US adults. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:1233-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Despite food label use being associated with improved dietary factors, label use alone is not expected to be sufficient in modifying behavior ultimately leading to improved health outcomes. ..
  21. Lin C, Lee J, Yen S. Do dietary intakes affect search for nutrient information on food labels?. Soc Sci Med. 2004;59:1955-67 pubmed
    ..Yet, nutrition education can be instrumental in encouraging this search by stimulating motivation and providing technical help. ..
  22. Kelly B, Hughes C, Chapman K, Louie J, Dixon H, Crawford J, et al. Consumer testing of the acceptability and effectiveness of front-of-pack food labelling systems for the Australian grocery market. Health Promot Int. 2009;24:120-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The TL system was the most effective in assisting consumers to identify healthier foods. Mandatory TL labelling regulations are recommended to assist consumers in making healthy food choices. ..
  23. Colby S, Johnson L, Scheett A, Hoverson B. Nutrition marketing on food labels. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010;42:92-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Current food industry symbols may not be helping consumers select foods low in saturated fat, sodium or sugar. ..
  24. De Baets L, van Iwaarden P, Meeus N, Schimmel H, Philipp W, Emons H. First certified reference materials for molecular fingerprinting of two approved probiotic Bacillus strains. Int J Food Microbiol. 2009;129:16-20 pubmed publisher
    ..They offer perspectives for applications in other domains such as analysis of foodborne pathogens in outbreaks or routine analysis. ..
  25. Louie J, Flood V, Rangan A, Hector D, Gill T. A comparison of two nutrition signposting systems for use in Australia. N S W Public Health Bull. 2008;19:121-6 pubmed
    ..This paper reviews two nutrition signposting systems currently being considered for adoption in Australia. The authors conclude that a system similar to the colour-coded Traffic Light System is likely to be most useful. ..
  26. Lobstein T, Davies S. Defining and labelling 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' food. Public Health Nutr. 2009;12:331-40 pubmed publisher
    ..A uniform approach to nutrient profiling will help consumers, manufacturers and retailers in Europe. ..
  27. Misra R. Knowledge, attitudes, and label use among college students. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:2130-4 pubmed
    ..Attitude mediated the relationship between knowledge and label reading behavior. The indexes of fit for the tested model indicated a good fit; the predictors accounted for 44% of the variance in label usage. ..
  28. van Trijp H, van der Lans I. Consumer perceptions of nutrition and health claims. Appetite. 2007;48:305-24 pubmed
    ..The general results indicate that consumer perceptions differ substantially by country and benefit being claimed but much less by the claim type. Implications of these findings are being discussed. ..
  29. Antonuk B, Block L. The effect of single serving versus entire package nutritional information on consumption norms and actual consumption of a snack food. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2006;38:365-70 pubmed
    ..05). Compared to standard, single-column labels, dual-column nutritional labels have a greater impact on the snack food consumption of nondieters. ..
  30. Williams P, Yeatman H, Ridges L, Houston A, Rafferty J, Ridges A, et al. Nutrition function, health and related claims on packaged Australian food products--prevalence and compliance with regulations. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15:10-20 pubmed
    ..Comprehensive education and enforcement frameworks also will be needed, to reduce the number of illegal or apparently unsubstantiated claims. ..
  31. Cowburn G, Stockley L. Consumer understanding and use of nutrition labelling: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr. 2005;8:21-8 pubmed
    ..In particular, interpretational aids can help consumers assess the nutrient contribution of specific foods to the overall diet. ..
  32. Wootan M, Osborn M. Availability of nutrition information from chain restaurants in the United States. Am J Prev Med. 2006;30:266-8 pubmed
    ..S. Congress are beginning to address the issue. ..
  33. Zuleta A, Sambucetti M. Inulin determination for food labeling. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49:4570-2 pubmed
  34. Legault L, Brandt M, McCabe N, Adler C, Brown A, Brecher S. 2000-2001 food label and package survey: an update on prevalence of nutrition labeling and claims on processed, packaged foods. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104:952-8 pubmed
  35. Campos S, Doxey J, Hammond D. Nutrition labels on pre-packaged foods: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr. 2011;14:1496-506 pubmed publisher
    ..However, to capitalize on their potential, governments will need to explore new formats and different types of information content to ensure that nutrition information is accessible and understandable. ..
  36. Kuo T, Jarosz C, Simon P, Fielding J. Menu labeling as a potential strategy for combating the obesity epidemic: a health impact assessment. Am J Public Health. 2009;99:1680-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings suggest that mandated menu labeling could have a sizable salutary impact on the obesity epidemic, even with only modest changes in consumer behavior. ..
  37. Gerend M. Does calorie information promote lower calorie fast food choices among college students?. J Adolesc Health. 2009;44:84-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Men's selections were unaffected. Providing calorie information at point of purchase could have positive implications for public health. ..
  38. Huang T, Kaur H, McCarter K, Nazir N, Choi W, Ahluwalia J. Reading nutrition labels and fat consumption in adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2004;35:399-401 pubmed
    ..In girls, fat intake did not differ by frequency of nutrition label reading. Nutrition label reading does not translate into healthier diet in adolescents. ..
  39. Cornelisse Vermaat J, Voordouw J, Yiakoumaki V, Theodoridis G, Frewer L. Food-allergic consumers' labelling preferences: a cross-cultural comparison. Eur J Public Health. 2008;18:115-20 pubmed
    ..Information was thought to be unclear or insufficient, which resulted in personal stress and feelings of insecurity. Further research is needed to identify how best allergy information might be provided. ..
  40. Lupton J, Balentine D, Black R, Hildwine R, Ivens B, Kennedy E, et al. The Smart Choices front-of-package nutrition labeling program: rationale and development of the nutrition criteria. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:1078S-1089S pubmed publisher
    ..The criteria are based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and other consensus science and are transparent and available on the SCP website. This article describes the nutrition criteria and rationales for their selection. ..
  41. Tandon P, Wright J, Zhou C, Rogers C, Christakis D. Nutrition menu labeling may lead to lower-calorie restaurant meal choices for children. Pediatrics. 2010;125:244-8 pubmed publisher
    ..This study is the first to suggest that labeled menus may lead to significantly lower calorie content in restaurant meals purchased for children. ..
  42. Micha R, Mozaffarian D. Trans fatty acids: effects on cardiometabolic health and implications for policy. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2008;79:147-52 pubmed publisher eliminate the use of industrial TFA in both developed and developing countries, including education, food labeling, and policy and legislative initiatives, would likely prevent tens of thousands of CHD events worldwide each ..
  43. Jones G, Richardson M. An objective examination of consumer perception of nutrition information based on healthiness ratings and eye movements. Public Health Nutr. 2007;10:238-44 pubmed
    ..Consumers have a lack of knowledge regarding how to interpret nutrition information for standard labels. The traffic light concept helps to ameliorate this problem by indicating important nutrients to which to pay attention. ..
  44. Aggett P, Antoine J, Asp N, Bellisle F, Contor L, Cummings J, et al. PASSCLAIM: consensus on criteria. Eur J Nutr. 2005;44 Suppl 1:i5-30 pubmed
  45. Yeung P, Sanders M, Kitts C, Cano R, Tong P. Species-specific identification of commercial probiotic strains. J Dairy Sci. 2002;85:1039-51 pubmed
    ..acidophilus group. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was found to be variable and inaccurate and is not recommended to identify probiotic lactobacilli. ..
  46. Hamilton Miller J, Shah S, Winkler J. Public health issues arising from microbiological and labelling quality of foods and supplements containing probiotic microorganisms. Public Health Nutr. 1999;2:223-9 pubmed
    ..The presence of the potential pathogen Enterococcus faecium (intentionally or as a contaminant) in some products calls for a review of the value of this species as a probiotic. ..
  47. Kreuter M, Brennan L, Scharff D, Lukwago S. Do nutrition label readers eat healthier diets? Behavioral correlates of adults' use of food labels. Am J Prev Med. 1997;13:277-83 pubmed
    ..60, 95% CI = 1.29, 1.98) on the label, but no more likely to look for other nutrition label information. Findings consistently supported a relationship between patients' label reading and their dietary practices. ..
  48. Chu Y, Frongillo E, Jones S, Kaye G. Improving patrons' meal selections through the use of point-of-selection nutrition labels. Am J Public Health. 2009;99:2001-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Use of nutrition labels reduced the average energy content of entrées purchased without reducing overall sales. These results provide support for strengthening the nutrition labeling policy in food-service operations. ..
  49. Cinar A, Murtomaa H. A holistic food labelling strategy for preventing obesity and dental caries. Obes Rev. 2009;10:357-61 pubmed publisher
    ..Labelling healthy food as 'health-friendly' based on an international consensus will provide a clear and uniform picture of what is healthy to eat and result in an international integrated programme for prevention of obesity and caries. ..
  50. Krukowski R, Harvey Berino J, Kolodinsky J, Narsana R, Desisto T. Consumers may not use or understand calorie labeling in restaurants. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106:917-20 pubmed
  51. Weiss B, Mays M, Martz W, Castro K, DeWalt D, Pignone M, et al. Quick assessment of literacy in primary care: the newest vital sign. Ann Fam Med. 2005;3:514-22 pubmed
    ..NVS is suitable for use as a quick screening test for limited literacy in primary health care settings. ..
  52. Rayner M, Scarborough P, Williams C. The origin of Guideline Daily Amounts and the Food Standards Agency's guidance on what counts as 'a lot' and 'a little'. Public Health Nutr. 2004;7:549-56 pubmed
    ..GDAs and Rules of Thumb may provide useful ways of helping consumers make sense of nutrition labelling. The current GDAs and the Rules of Thumb could usefully be updated in the light of recent developments. ..
  53. Joshi P, Mofidi S, Sicherer S. Interpretation of commercial food ingredient labels by parents of food-allergic children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002;109:1019-21 pubmed
    ..Complex ingredient terminology (eg, casein and whey for milk) and label ambiguities (eg, natural flavor and may contain peanut ) might compromise the ability of patients/parents to determine the safety of particular products...