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How Nutrition Labels Impact Purchases

Better labels help consumers make better purchases.

Woman looking at nutrition labels at the grocery store

Looks like the more nutrition information shoppers have the better their purchasing decisions might be. Calorie and nutrition labels on prepared bakery items were associated with about 10 fewer calories per transaction, while labels on deli meats and cheeses were associated with about 18 fewer calories per purchase, according to a longitudinal study in JAMA Internal Medicine. The research was conducted at 173 supermarkets in the northeastern U.S. from 2015 to 2017. No changes were observed among prepared entrées and sides.

These declines could be meaningful given the frequency with which people consume prepared foods including those available at supermarkets, which historically have lacked adequate labels.

See also: Nutrition Labels and Online Grocery Sites

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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