Daily Values (% DV), rather than absolute amounts, contribute to consumers’ purchase decisions and their overall diet quality.

Even less consumer research has been conducted on the Supplement Facts box. Therefore research also is needed to understand how consumers use this information. In addition, studies that compare the relative consumer use and understanding of both the Nutrition and the Supplement Facts boxes would enhance the ability of the agencies to revise both labels to better meet consumer needs.

The committee has identified 14 questions that could frame development of much-needed consumer research on nutrition labeling:

  • To what extent do consumers use the Nutrition Facts box?

  • How does use of nutrition labeling differ by ethnic, life stage, and gender groups?

  • How does use of nutrition labeling differ with first-time purchases and with increased label use?

  • To what extent do consumers understand the concept of the Daily Value (DV) and do they use it to make purchase decisions?

  • Do consumers understand the difference between nutrients (e.g., calcium) for which the % DV is on the label to help them reach a positive goal for intake, and other nutrients (e.g., cholesterol) for which the % DV is on the label to help them reduce their risk of chronic disease?

  • To what extent do consumers use the information in the Nutrition Facts box to confirm information they read on the front of the package, including nutrient content and health claims?

  • Is the current format of the Nutrition Facts box the most effective manner to convey the information that consumers state that they use, as well as to convey the information that health professionals indicate is important clinically, such as absolute amounts?

  • Is there a need to modify the Nutrition Facts box for food and supplements marketed to special populations, such as the elderly?

  • Would changes in levels of the DVs based on EARs impact food choices, especially in high-risk groups, such as children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children?

  • Would the repercussions to changing the current format, such as consumer confusion, outweigh the positive communication benefits of a revised label format?

  • Specifically in Canada, what will be the effects of introducing a new label format into the marketplace and of any additional changes that may be necessitated as a result of incorporation of new DVs into the label?

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