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Journal cover: British Food Journal

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Online from: 1899

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Differences between younger and older populations in nutrition label reading habits

Document Information:
Title:Differences between younger and older populations in nutrition label reading habits
Author(s):Jasmina Ranilovic, (Quality Control Department, Podravka d.d. food industry, Koprivnica, Croatia), Irena Colic Baric, (Food Chemistry and Nutrition Laboratory, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Citation:Jasmina Ranilovic, Irena Colic Baric, (2011) "Differences between younger and older populations in nutrition label reading habits", British Food Journal, Vol. 113 Iss: 1, pp.109 - 121
Keywords:Consumer behaviour, Croatia, Labelling, Nutrition
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00070701111097376 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Podravka Company, in Croatia.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the socio-demographic and health variables of a representative sample of Croatian subjects over 15 years of age associated with reading nutrition labels and, in particular, to examine the association of age characteristics of “label users” with nutrition reading habits.

Design/methodology/approach – A total of 1,011 randomly selected subjects over 15 years of age were interviewed by telephone. Moreover, 638 “label users” were recruited for assessing nutrition label habits.

Findings – Of the subjects, 36 per cent claimed that they had never, 25 per cent rarely, 19 per cent always and 15 per cent sometimes read nutrition labels. Females, participants with the highest levels of education, still undergoing education, physically active and on special diets claimed that they were more likely to read nutrition labels. Among “label users”, younger participants mentioned “curiosity” as the most important reason for reading nutrition labels, while older participants more often pointed out “wish for healthy eating habits”. “Interpretational aids” were often mentioned among younger participants for easier understanding of nutritional information, while older participants requested “bigger letter size”.

Research limitations/implications – The present study provides a starting point for establishing nutrition education targeted at specific groups of consumers. Research is limited to the subject's self-reported nutrition label reading. Future research is needed to explore the differences between “label users” and “’non-users”.

Originality/value – As the study showed, a notable difference exists between younger and older subjects regarding nutrition habits that could help experts toward effective communication. Nevertheless, the study could fill the research gaps in nutrition reading habits of specific groups of consumers in European countries, other than northern Europe.

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