King, Sondra L.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences
Nutrition Facts labels can be helpful in making food selections and serving sizes for general healthy eating or for specialized diets, but only if an individual can accurately interpret the information provided. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the level of comprehension of various components of the Nutrition Facts label by professionals-in-training. Upper-division, undergraduate, nutrition and non-nutrition future professionals participated in a survey to provide data to look at the relationships between several components. Validity was measured by having five dietitians complete the Nutrition Facts label quiz one time which resulted in revisions and corrections made appropriately. Reliability of the survey was tested by having ten students selected at random from one class repeat the quiz nine days after originally completed. Sixty-two fully completed questionnaires were utilized to determine relations. Chi-square test of independence and two-way ANOVA was used to determine if a relationship existed between three different sets of variables. Nutrition majors and non-majors were compared for frequency of reading labels and total quiz scores, for feeling about the level of understanding of Nutrition Facts labels and total quiz scores, and for total quiz scores for each level of complexity on the Nutrition Facts label quiz. Of all participants, 53% reported almost always reading the Nutrition Facts label. Total averaged scores for the quiz for all participants was 70.5% correct. Sixty-six percent of subjects reported feeling that the Nutrition Facts label was easy to understand. Statistical analysis found that being a nutrition or non-nutrition major did influence frequency of reading the Nutrition Facts labels. Also, being a nutrition or non-nutrition major did influence self-feelings for level of understanding of the Nutrition Facts labels. No significant difference existed between mean scores of each level of complexity of the Nutrition Facts label quiz for nutrition majors. A significant difference only existed between mean scores of ?basic? and ?calculations? questions for non-nutrition majors. Dietitians providing nutrition education may find the results of this study useful for professionals-in-training. Further research is needed of a larger sample size which would incorporate more men, individuals with less than a college education, and of a larger age range.
Turner, Dawn R., "Nutrition facts labels : are they understood?" (1999). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 4153.
Northern Illinois University
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