FDA survey finds more Americans read information on food labels

March 4, 2010

A majority of consumers read food labels and are increasingly aware of the link between good nutrition and reducing the risk of disease, according to the latest survey of dietary habits released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The 2008 U.S. Health and Diet Survey of more than 2,500 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that, for the first time, more than half of those surveyed “often” read a label the first time they buy a product. Yet, while the number of consumers reading a food label the first time they buy a product has risen, consumers are skeptical of industry claims such as “low fat,” “high fiber,” or “cholesterol free” on the front of packages.

The 2008 survey is the 10th such survey since 1982. It was based on a random-digit-dialing telephone survey weighted for the number of phone lines and adults in a household, gender, race/ethnicity, and education.

Press release