The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Food Safety
and Applied Nutrition has published a report finding that 77 percent of
surveyed adults use the Nutrition Facts label at least some of the time
when buying a food product. Intended to help the agency regulate food
and dietary supplement labeling, the 11th edition of the FDA Health and
Diet Survey relies on data from 2,480 participants interviewed by telephone
or cellphone about their use of nutrition labels and understanding
of nutrition claims, purchasing practices and general attitudes toward
nutrition and health issues.

The results highlight consumer attitudes about salt reduction, with
almost all respondents agreeing “the nation eats more salt than we
should.” Of these, 50 percent believe individuals are most effective
in curbing their own salt consumption, while 25 percent believe the
responsibility lies with food manufacturers and retailers, 5 percent with
restaurants, and 5 percent with government. The report also finds that (i)
“six in ten adults who had seen claims related to fat thought the government sets standards about which products are qualified to use the claim,”
(ii) 16 percent of consumer who used caffeine products “thought they had
experienced adverse health effects from these products”; and (iii) “nine in
ten adults had heard of trans fat or omega 3 fatty acids,” but 25 percent
of these respondents “could not tell if the fat raises, lowers, or has no
relationship with the risk of heart disease.”

“Almost nine in ten U.S. adults said they used claims such as ‘low in
sodium,’ ‘rich in antioxidants,’ ‘contains no added sugar,’ and ‘no sugar
added’ when buying food products,” states the report. “Yet, only one third
of adults thought these claims accurately describe the products.”


Issue 603

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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