Food labels: An analysis of the consumers' reasons for non-use

Marjan Bazhan, Mostafa Mirghotbi, Zohreh Amiri



     Food labeling is found to be a very important public health tool aimed at providing consumers with information which may influence their purchasing decisions. This study has aimed to assess the consumers' behaviors about the important information on the labels and their reasons for use or non-use. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted as point of purchase survey among 2123 shoppers in chain stores in Teharn, Iran, during 2008-2009. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire which contained 4 sections measuring respondents’ background, knowledge, perception, and behaviors about information on food labels. Results showed that 82.8 % of consumers look at food label information when purchasing food products. Younger adults (aged 20-40 years), female, married, employees and holders of a diploma and higher, individuals with higher level of knowledge, and those in the group categories of monthly income higher 6 million rials were significantly more likely to use food labels. Most of the respondents (29.3%) found small print on food labels to be the main reason for not reading food labels information, followed by no interest (26.3%), do not believe (12.6%), do not understand (7.1%). Our study suggests that increasing nutrition knowledge and understandable and legible food labeling can increase the likelihood of food label usage.   


Food labeling; Consumer behavior; Nutrition information

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"Journal of Paramdedical Sciences", is a publication of "School of Paramedical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences" and "Iranian Society of Medical Proteomics".

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EISSN: 2008-4978

PISSN: 2008-496X