Potential problems with increasing serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts label.

Published

Journal Article

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently announced that the serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts labels for many products will be increased, but the effect of these increases remains unclear. The present research examined consumers' interpretation of the meaning of serving size information (study 1) and tested whether exposing consumers to the increased serving sizes of the proposed Nutrition Facts label leads consumers to serve and purchase more food for themselves and others (studies 2-4). Study 1 (N = 101; 44.7% female) tested what consumers believe the serving sizes on Nutrition Facts labels refer to, and the majority of participants (over 78%) incorrectly believed that the serving sizes refer to how much food can or should be consumed in one sitting as part of a healthy diet. Study 2 (N = 51; 41.2% female) tested how exposure to the current versus proposed Nutrition Facts label influences the amount of food that consumers serve themselves, and studies 3 (N = 60; 46.7% female) and 4 (N = 61; 48.2% female) assessed how exposure to the current versus proposed label influences the amount of food that people serve and purchase for others. In studies 2-4, the proposed label (vs. the current label) led consumers to serve themselves 41% more cookies (study 2); serve 27% more cheese crackers to another person (study 3); and buy 43% more lasagnas for others and divide a lasagna into 22% larger slices (study 4). The results suggest that the proposed Nutrition Facts label's increased serving sizes may lead people who use this information as a reference to serve more food to themselves and others.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dallas, SK; Liu, PJ; Ubel, PA

Published Date

  • December 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 /

Start / End Page

  • 577 - 584

PubMed ID

  • 26278876

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26278876

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-8304

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0195-6663

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.appet.2015.08.012

Language

  • eng