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CT consumers generally don’t care about nutritional information – study

Researcher Dr Nelene Koen says of the 960 literate adult consumers who were studied, just over one third said they frequently or always read nutrition information on food labels.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - According to a Stellenbosch University study, Cape Town consumers generally don't care about nutritional information on food labels.

The study, conducted by a researcher in the medicine and health sciences faculty, analysed Capetonians’ food purchasing behaviour.

It also found consumers preferred simple, clear health endorsement logos for products that are healthier choices.

Researcher Dr Nelene Koen says of the 960 literate adult consumers who were studied, just over one third said they frequently or always read nutrition information on food labels.

“The majority of consumers shave said that they don’t read nutrition information, they only focus on prices. Many consumers also said that they are interested in nutrition information but that they actually struggle to understand. Other factors that played a role was lack of time or other influences such as brand loyalty.”

Koen says nutrition labelling is important as it can tackle nationwide problems like non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cancer.

“We know that in SA we have a major problem with people being overweight or obese or having high blood pressure or suffering from an NCD [non-communicable disease] so this is a relatively easy way to educate consumers to make healthy food choices.”

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