Preprint Review Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

Consumer Understanding, Perception and Interpretation of Serving Size Information on Food Labels: A Scoping Review

Version 1 : Received: 23 January 2018 / Approved: 23 January 2018 / Online: 23 January 2018 (08:12:19 CET)

How to cite: Bucher, T.; Duncanson, K.; Murawski, B.; Van der Horst, K.; Labbe, D. Consumer Understanding, Perception and Interpretation of Serving Size Information on Food Labels: A Scoping Review. Preprints 2018, 2018010212 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201801.0212.v1). Bucher, T.; Duncanson, K.; Murawski, B.; Van der Horst, K.; Labbe, D. Consumer Understanding, Perception and Interpretation of Serving Size Information on Food Labels: A Scoping Review. Preprints 2018, 2018010212 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201801.0212.v1).

Abstract

This scoping review investigated how consumers perceive and interpret serving size information on food packages. A search of seven databases (2010 to September 2017) was followed by title and abstract screening, with relevant articles assessed for eligibility in full-text. Fourteen studies met inclusion criteria, with relevant data extracted by one reviewer and checked for consistency by a second reviewer. Five studies reported poor understanding of nutrition facts labelling and portion size, with information to ‘benchmark’ serving size against reported as helpful in two studies. Consumer attitudes towards serving size labelling were measured in six studies and identified that serving size information was interpreted as indicative of nutrient intake regardless of portion size recommendations. Increased labelled serving sizes resulted in increased portion sizes in three studies, with three studies reporting the opposite or neutral effect for discretionary food portion sizes. The influence of labelled serving size on consumer attitudes and consumption is complex and sometimes counterintuitive. As labelled serving size can impact on consumption, any changes may result in unintended public health consequences. The effects of labelled serving size format changes should be tested carefully within experimental and ecological contexts and accompanied by tailored, comprehensive and serving size-specific food literacy initiatives.

Subject Areas

food labelling; serve size; obesity; back of pack label; BOP; front of pack label; FOP; food marketing; nudging

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