Food Labeling Education Serves Many Groups

By Kurtzweil, Paula | FDA Consumer, May 1994 | Go to article overview

Food Labeling Education Serves Many Groups


Kurtzweil, Paula, FDA Consumer


Wayne Jacobs, president of the Baltimore-based Jacobs Jenner & Kent, is feeding his audience questions. He wants to find out how the members feel about the food label in general and a proposed food labeling brochure in particular. His questions go something like this: "Do you read food labels? Why? What do you look for? How would this brochure help you change your behavior?"

He gets a variety of answers.

"I have to watch for too much sodium," says one, explaining why he reads food labels. "I look for the cholesterol levels all the time," says another.

As for how the brochure might change behavior: "I'm going to start reading [labels]," a woman replies. "I'm going to pay more attention to ingredients," says another. And still a third: "Am I going to apply [the food label] daily? Probably not."

Jacobs isn't asking his questions out of idle curiosity. He's asking because the Food and Drug Administration has hired his company to develop and test a food labeling brochure for consumers with limited reading skills.

The brochure is one of many educational materials being developed as part of a food labeling education campaign headed by FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (USDA regulates meat and poultry; FDA is responsible for all other food.) The campaign focuses on helping people--especially those at greatest risk for poor nutrition--become aware of the new food label and use it to make healthy food choices.

Jacob's questioning took place in Greenbelt, Md., where he conducted a small-group survey of men and women enrolled in local literacy development classes. Their responses will be used to produce an FDA-USDA brochure targeted for an audience with no more than a fifth-grade reading ability.

The project demonstrates one way public and private organizations are trying to help diverse consumer groups learn about the new food label. Other groups targeted for education efforts are non-English-speaking people, older Americans, children, people with special dietary needs, and those in lower socioeconomic groups.

The campaign takes on added meaning and activity May 8, when most of FDA's food labeling regulations go into effect. On that day, by law, food manufacturers must start putting nutrition information on the labels of most of their products, presenting the information in a new, easy-to-use format. FDA is highlighting the event with new radio and TV public service announcements focusing on the labeling changes.

The new labeling regulations apply only to foods labeled on or after May 8. So consumers may continue to see the old nutrition label on some food packages after May 8.

"This campaign is not simply about a better food label on food packages," noted FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D. "It is about Americans living longer, better quality lives, and about lower healthcare costs. That's why our real focus needs to be on education."

The intent, according to Kessler, is to "institutionalize" the message about the new food label by making sure it is in appropriate textbooks, such as home economics and health books, and in materials used by nutritionists, dietitians and health educators in years to come.

A Campaign Begins

FDA took on this food labeling education challenge in 1990, when the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) became law. NLEA is responsible for most of the food labeling changes taking place. But, as its name implies, the act also emphasizes education. In particular, it calls for activities to educate consumers about the availability of nutrition information in food labeling and the importance of using that information to make healthy dietary choices.

Charged with that mandate, FDA set out, with USDA, to establish a national consumer education campaign. The agencies enlisted the help of other federal agencies, the food industry, trade associations, consumer groups, health professionals, and educators. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Food Labeling Education Serves Many Groups
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.