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Consumer understanding of sugar types predicts food label use

Chantelle Clarke (NeuroHealth Lab, Appleton Institute, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia)
Kate Abel (NeuroHealth Lab, Appleton Institute, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia)
Talitha Best (NeuroHealth Lab, Appleton Institute, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 22 September 2022

Issue publication date: 5 July 2023

146

Abstract

Purpose

There is growing awareness internationally of the need to reduce intake of added sugars. The purpose of this study was to examine consumer sugar knowledge and food label use.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross-sectional online survey included 229 adult participants (85% female and 15% male). Participants completed measures of demographics, sugar knowledge, interest in food and nutrition, food choice motivations and beliefs and food label use. The sample of convenience showed that participants were from Australasia (n = 90), the USA (n = 90) and other Western (Europe and Canada, n = 49) countries.

Findings

Overall, participant sugar knowledge predicted nutrition label use over and above individual demographic and psychological characteristics (interest in food and nutrition, health beliefs and food choice motivations) (p < 0.001). Country comparisons revealed that those in Australasia reported lower sugar knowledge compared to the USA (p =< 0.001) and other Western countries (p = 0.028).

Research limitations/implications

Overall, participant sugar knowledge predicted nutrition label use over and above individual demographic and psychological characteristics (interest in food and nutrition, health beliefs and food choice motivations) (p < 001). Country comparisons revealed that those in Australasia reported lower sugar knowledge compared to the USA (p =< 0.001) and other Western countries (p = 0.028).

Originality/value

This study explored sugar knowledge as a unique predictor of food label use, taking into account individual characteristics in demographics, food choice motivations and health beliefs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Data access: Data made available upon request.

Ethics approval: The study design was approved by the Human Research and Ethics Committee at Central Queensland University (H17/05-094).

Citation

Clarke, C., Abel, K. and Best, T. (2023), "Consumer understanding of sugar types predicts food label use", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 5, pp. 823-836. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-02-2022-0066

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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