Americans and Nutrition Facts

August 4/Scarborough, ME/Business Wire --Since the inception of the Nutrition Facts Panel 15 years ago, Americans have clocked many hours in grocery store aisles comparing the nutritional content of different food items in an effort to identify the healthiest options. However, a new survey from Guiding Stars found that two-thirds (67%) of Americans are only somewhat confident, at best, they can select healthy foods from the Nutrition Facts Panel alone.

With more information available than ever before, nutrition is top-of-mind for many Americans. Yet, many are not using the Nutrition Facts Panel to its full potential. In fact, the survey found that 74% of people find the Nutrition Facts Panel to be either "exhausting to read" (28%), "difficult to understand" (24%), "not helpful" (11%) or "something to ignore" (11%). While the Nutrition Facts Panel is essential to help shoppers identify the nutrients in packaged foods, many Americans seek easier-to-use tools that can help them quickly identify nutritious options.

An At-A-Glance Interpretation of the Nutrition Facts Panel
According to the survey, one-in-four Americans (25%) would prefer a good-better-best rating of nutritional value, in their supermarket.

"Our research shows that there's a need in the marketplace for a simpler solution to help identify healthier food choices," said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Company.

Survey Methodology
The Guiding Stars Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between June 23-June 30, 2009 using Random Digit Dialing of listed and unlisted numbers. The survey was fielded to 1,000 nationally representative Americans 18 years and older, and consisted of 484 men and 516 women. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

From the August 17, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition