Department of Management

Nutrition Labeling

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingEncyclopedia entryResearchpeer-review

Nutrition labeling refers to the provision of information on a food product’s nutritional content on the package label. It can serve both public health and commercial purposes. From a public health perspective, the aim of nutrition labeling is to provide information that can enable consumers to make healthier choices when choosing food products. Nutrition labeling is thus closely linked to the notion of the informed consumer, that chooses products according to their aims, on the basis of the information at their disposal. Because many consumers are assumed to be interested in making healthy choices, but the nutritional content of food products may not always be clear to consumers, nutrition labeling can contribute to making the nutritional content more transparent, thus reducing the frequency of unhealthy choices. Nutrition labeling is sometimes also motivated by consumers’ right to know, implying that the availability of information on the nutritional content on food products is of value in itself, no matter how this impacts consumer choices. Another argument for nutrition labeling is that making information about nutritional content transparent will lead to healthier products, partly because consumers will avoid products that the label shows to be nutritionally deficient, but also because food producers will try to avoid marketing products that appear, according to the label, as nutritionally problematic, for example, because of a high content of saturated fat or salt. Nutrition labeling could thus encourage the reformulation of products toward a healthier nutritional profile. From a commercial perspective, nutrition labeling is a means to convey the message that a certain product has a healthy nutritional profile. Healthiness is increasingly being used by food manufacturers as a positioning parameter when launching new products, and nutrition labeling can be a credible way of supporting this positioning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Nutrition. : Vol. 1-4
EditorsLindsay H. Allen, Andrew Prentice, Benjamin Caballero
Number of pages5
Volume3
PublisherAcademic Press
Publication year18 Jan 2013
Edition3.ed.
Pages315-319
ISBN (print)0123750830
ISBN (Electronic)9780123750839
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2013

    Research areas

  • MAPP

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