STAT

Opinion: Do food and menu nutrition labels influence consumer or industry behavior?

To solve the global nutrition crisis, we need smarter nutrition labels and smarter supportive policies that together make healthy eating the easier, cheaper, more widely available choice.
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walk down the aisles of any grocery or convenience store and pick up a package. Somewhere on it is a food label listing nutrition information.

Labels include the federally mandated Nutrition Facts Label; the simplified front-of-pack Facts Up Front label; the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark; Guiding Stars, developed by the Hannaford grocery chain; and the for-profit and now defunct NuVal tag. Foods can also carry simpler labeling claims such as “fat free” or “low sodium,” or provide total calorie counts.

Such labels don’t come just from the food industry. They also represent a “soft” approach for the government to educate consumers about healthy

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