Do people ACTUALLY read nutrition facts labels?

A recent publication in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that most people tend to overestimate the amount of time they spend looking at food labels.  The authors used eye-tracking technology to discover that the position and location of nutrition information on packaging of food can have an impact on the viewer.  Information at the top of the label was viewed more than at the bottom, and information in center of the screen was viewed more than at the sides.

Bottom line? People have a short attention span when it comes to food labeling.  Therefore, the location and eye-appeal of an item’s packaging and labeling can have a great impact on disseminating nutrition information to the public.

Take a look at this video created by the authors, which summarizes the study and their results!

If you want to read the full scientific report, here is the citation:

Graham DJ, Jeffrey RW.  Location, location, location: eye-tracking evidence that consumers preferentially view prominently positioned nutrition information. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1704-11.

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