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Nutrients 2015, 7(11), 9353-9368; doi:10.3390/nu7115474

Consumers’ Exposure to Nutrition and Health Claims on Pre-Packed Foods: Use of Sales Weighting for Assessing the Food Supply in Slovenia

Nutrition Institute, Tržaška cesta 40, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
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Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 29 October 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
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Abstract

Insights into the use of health-related information on foods are important for planning studies about the effects of such information on the consumer’s understanding, purchasing, and consumption of foods, and also support further food policy decisions. We tested the use of sales data for weighting consumers’ exposure to health-related labeling information in the Slovenian food supply. Food labeling data were collected from 6342 pre-packed foods available in four different food stores in Slovenia. Consumers’ exposure was calculated as the percentage of available food products with particular food information in the food category. In addition, 12-month sales data were used to calculate sales weighted exposure as a percentage of sold food products with certain food information in the food category. The consumer’s in-store and sales-weighted exposure to nutrition claims was 37% and 45%, respectively. Exposure to health claims was much lower (13%, 11% when sales-weighted). Health claims were mainly found in the form of general non-specific claims or function claims, while children’s development and reduction of disease risk claims were present on only 0.1% and 0.2% of the investigated foods, respectively. Sales data were found very useful for establishing a reliable estimation of consumers’ exposure to information provided on food labels. The high penetration of health-related information on food labels indicates that careful regulation of this area is appropriate. Further studies should focus on assessing the nutritional quality of foods labeled with nutrition and health claims, and understanding the importance of such labeling techniques for consumers’ food preferences and choices. View Full-Text
Keywords: food labeling; health claims; nutrition claims; nutrition declaration; food supply food labeling; health claims; nutrition claims; nutrition declaration; food supply
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pravst, I.; Kušar, A. Consumers’ Exposure to Nutrition and Health Claims on Pre-Packed Foods: Use of Sales Weighting for Assessing the Food Supply in Slovenia. Nutrients 2015, 7, 9353-9368.

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