Multi-serving packs create labelling challenge, claims researcher

29th January 2013 - Fine Cut

A researcher has discussed the challenge that comes with informing consumers on multi-serving packets of food.

Amy M Lando, who co-led a study for the US's Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Obesity Working Group, told that one of the main focuses of her work was investigating foods that contain more than one serving but are generally eaten in one sitting.

This could include a big bag of crisps or a muffin. The problem that arises is that people will often not look at product labels and calculate the nutritional informational information per serving, or they will calculate it incorrectly.

One encouraging sign is that consumers do appear to be paying attention to nutritional information.

Ms Lando said: "Survey research conducted by the FDA has shown that consumers have come to rely on the food label to determine the nutritional content of the food they eat. In fact, the percentage of consumers who report that they often read a food label the first time they purchase a food rose from 44 per cent in 2002 to 54 per cent in 2008."

Another important food labelling issue relates to the use of GM crops, with reporting earlier this month that two-thirds of the British public believe it is important for products to be labelled accordingly. However, oddly, just a small proportion of the people polled actually search out such information.

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