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An objective examination of consumer perception of nutrition information based on healthiness ratings and eye movements

  • Gary Jones (a1) and Miles Richardson (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2007

Previous research on nutrition labelling has mainly used subjective measures. This study examines the effectiveness of two types of nutrition label using two objective measures: eye movements and healthiness ratings.


Eye movements were recorded while participants made healthiness ratings for two types of nutrition label: standard and standard plus the Food Standards Agency's ‘traffic light’ concept.


University of Derby, UK.


A total of 92 participants (mean age 31.5 years) were paid for their participation. None of the participants worked in the areas of food or nutrition.


For the standard nutrition label, participant eye movements lacked focus and their healthiness ratings lacked accuracy. The traffic light system helped to guide the attention of the consumer to the important nutrients and improved the accuracy of the healthiness ratings of nutrition labels.


Consumers have a lack of knowledge regarding how to interpret nutrition information for standard labels. The traffic light concept helps to ameliorate this problem by indicating important nutrients to which to pay attention.

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