Effect of Educational Interventions on Understanding and Use of Nutrition Labels: A Systematic Review

Sally G. Moore, Judy K. Donnelly, Steve Jones, Janet E. Cade

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    The potential for nutrition labels to impact on population health is dependent on consumer ability to understand and use this information. Consumer understanding of this information varies across sociodemographic groups and with different label design formats. Labeling legislation requires consumer education on how to use nutrition labels, and recent mandatory changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP) are underway to improve comprehensibility. This review aimed to evaluate if educational programs can improve understanding and use of nutrition labels. Database searches were performed to identify interventions which delivered education on nutrition labels with outcomes measuring aspects of comprehension or use. A total of 17 studies were selected for review, including nine randomized and eight cohort studies. The majority of studies were conducted in the United States Study participants included school aged children, older adults, and those with diabetes within a range of intervention types involving taught sessions or web-based education. Whilst outcome measures were heterogenous, all studies reported a statistically significant improvement in one or more outcomes of participant understanding or use of nutrition labels. Aspects such as general nutrition knowledge, health literacy, and program delivery format warrant attention in future research. Education which optimizes comprehension and use of nutrition labels may have the potential to improve the impact of this information on dietary health.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2018


    • food labels
    • nutrition labels
    • nutrition education
    • nutrition knowledge
    • nutrition facts label utilization
    • nutrition facts label comprehension
    • health literacy


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