FDA to conduct survey on potential changes for Nutrition Facts label

November 18, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to conduct an experimental study to quantitatively assess consumer reactions to potential options for modifying the Nutrition Facts label format. The purpose of the study is to help enhance FDA’s understanding of consumer comprehension and acceptance of modifications to the Nutrition Facts label format. The study is part of the Agency’s continuing effort to enable consumers to make informed dietary choices and construct healthful diets.

The proposed study will use a Web-based experiment to collect information from a sample of adult members in an online consumer panel established by a contractor. The study plans to randomly assign each of 10,000 participants to view Nutrition Facts labels from a set of Nutrition Facts labels that vary by the format, the type of food product, and the quality of nutritional attributes of the product. The study will focus on the following types of consumer reactions: (1) Judgments about a food product in terms of its nutritional attributes and overall healthfulness and (2) ability to use the Nutrition Facts label to, for example, calculate calories and estimate serving sizes needed to meet objectives. To help understand consumer reactions, the study will also collect information on participants’ background, including but not limited to use of the Nutrition Facts label and health status. The study results will be used to help the Agency to understand whether modifications to the Nutrition Facts label format could help consumers make more informed food choices.

Federal Register notice