Can better nutrition labels improve health outcomes?

by Jessica Plourde Hutter, on April 21, 2016


Most packaged food and beverage products sold in the U.S. contain a detailed nutrition facts label. In theory, these are meant to help consumers decide whether they're eating healthy enough. But in practice, these labels can be confusing, and sometimes downright misleading.

What is a calorie, anyway? How much sodium is too much? Which types of fat are good, and which are bad? While a nutritionist may be able to answer these questions, the average shopper is often at a loss.

That's why some food and beverage producers are taking a different approach. For instance, Mars Food recently announced that it will be creating a new labeling system that will indicate whether certain foods should be consumed sparingly or frequently as part of a healthy diet. Popular brands like Uncle Ben's rice and Dolmio pasta sauce will be labeled for "everyday" consumption if they are low in fat, sugar and salt. Those that aren't considered to be as healthy will be marked for "occasional" consumption.

This isn't the only way that the industry has considered improving nutrition labeling. Some studies suggest that if food product labels showed the amount of physical exercise necessary to burn off the calories contained within them, consumers would have a better understanding of what they were eating and adjust their habits accordingly.

And, of course, the federal government has already begun to mandate nutrition labeling of menu items at chain restaurants, as per the Affordable Care Act. It doesn't take much imagination to envision a future in which all food and beverage items are regulated more closely in this regard.

As the industry adjusts to a customer base that is increasingly health-conscious, food and beverage producers must create nutrition labels that are useful and easy to understand. Loftware's Enterprise Labeling Solutions make it possible to do so efficiently in a centralized, automated manner, while still adhering to any applicable government regulation.

To find out more about labeling in the Food & Beverage suppy chain then download this F&B industry infographic today and take a closer look at our survey report.

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Topics:Food & Beverage