Throughout such things as the impact of nutrition
Throughout the United States many students entering college are not inclined to reading Nutritional Fact labels, whether they understand them or not. The National and Education Label Act was meant to influence students to read and understand nutritional fact labels 1.
Today students are being made aware of the importance about reading Nutrition Food Labels, but studies have shown that although there are mandates placed upon food companies to supply a clear understanding of the ingredients in packaged foods 2, many have yet to understand them 4, let alone read these labels.It is becoming more obvious that college students, specifically, still have limitations in their understanding and acceptance of the nutrition fact label, which directly affects their attitudes and choices for proper nutrition. Even though nutritional information is widely available in the USA, it is still disregarded by up to 55% of Americans 3. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the student’s comprehension of nutrition fact labels and the pertinence towards their choices in food.In reviewing the literature, we found that many different studies and papers have been conducted on nutrition fact labeling, but fewer on college students specifically. The 1990 National Labeling and Education label has influenced college students through information that is provided to the public about key nutrients that are of public health concerns 1.
The successes of Label education efforts are also associated with better eating patterns among college students and their need of understanding nutrients rather than merely focusing on fat and caloric contents of foods 7.In reviewing these articles the relationship between them is not necessarily the lack of their knowledge, but rather the lack of an understanding of the information presented on food labels and college student’s attitude when it comes to food choices. Within the studies, researchers were looking at such things as the impact of nutrition fact labels on college students, in particular, the interest of whether the students think the label is useful or if an education in label-reading is positively or negatively associated with label use or adherence 1.There were two significant articles related to this research that used different approaches in gathering their data. Marietta, Welshimer, and Anderson, 1999, used a non experimental research design using a survey, while Misra, 2007, used a model that sought to assess the relationships among different variables such as age, sex, and prior nutrition education.
College students represent an appropriate portion of the US population to study because they benefit from the lifetime of healthful eating, and since they are usually away from home for the first time and are making more decisions about their diets than ever before, most of their choices in foods are not always the correct one 1. ” Most of the students that were part of the study felt as if the advertising for “low fat” or “high fiber” on a package were not truthful and therefore half of the students (48. %) used the nutritional facts labels at least sometimes to fit a healthy diet into their lifestyles 1. Today’s obesity rates are higher than ever with 1/3 of adolescents and 2/3 of adults being obese 9.
The number one killer in America today is heart disease (which directly relates to obesity) and cancer is next, leading to the fact that it is crucial for our college students to understand the significance between nutritionally and non-nutritionally dense foods and nutrient contents.Point-of-Purchase information has become a goal within college campuses, in the hopes to influence and provide nutrition information on foods in order to assist students in making smarter choices 10. It is believed that through intervention and education, college students would have a better environment and interaction with food label and their food of choice 6. It is also important to understand how this understanding of food labels is accepted around the world. This way, we could compare that information with our own domestic research to advance in curing this epidemic of obesity.In Europe, food companies place more general or useful information about a product, for example a “color-coded indicator of nutrient level”, on the front of the package, and leave the more detailed information on the back 11.
This way, the general public could get a basic understanding of how a certain nutrient or vitamin benefits or harms you, without the use of technical words that might confuse the average consumer. Moreover, in Canada, we see how they receive their information from various sources: product labels, print media, friends, relatives, colleagues, electronic edia, family physicians and dietitians 11. This is based upon a “Tracking Trends Survey” conducted in 1989.
Although it is a while back, this information is still vital because it helps us understand that there are many ways to educate an individual. In addition, college students have access to all of the options aforementioned, so this would be a great way to educate. Asia, however, is a little further back when it comes to the population’s general knowledge on affects of nutrients and their reading of food labels.This could be, in part, because of some of their “2,000-year-old Asian traditions of consuming specific foods to influence a particular health/disease state” 11 and they don’t know necessarily why they take it, they just know it is good for you. Therefore, based on this research, our hypothesis is that with nutritional education, and the right attitude towards food labeling, would contribute ones understanding of nutrients and food intake among young adults/college students.