Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Sodium and nutrition labelling: a qualitative study exploring New Zealand consumers’ food purchasing behaviours

  • Rachael McLean (a1) and Janet Hoek (a2)

Abstract

Objective

Dietary sodium reduction is an important public health intervention that would reduce blood pressure and chronic disease. An understanding of how New Zealand consumers’ food purchasing behaviour is influenced by perceptions of dietary sodium will inform future sodium-reduction strategies.

Design

The present qualitative study used in-depth interviews of adult consumers to explore consumer knowledge, understanding of food labels and food purchasing behaviour with respect to dietary sodium.

Setting

New Zealand.

Subjects

A convenience sample of sixteen adult grocery shoppers.

Results

A thematic analysis of the transcripts showed New Zealand consumers lacked the background knowledge necessary to understand and regulate their own salt intake and were unable to interpret existing food labels with respect to dietary salt.

Conclusions

The findings add further weight to calls for food labels that do not require background knowledge or numerical skills and highlight the need for population-based public health interventions. Education of New Zealand consumers on the health benefits of sodium reduction and how this may be achieved would complement this approach.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Sodium and nutrition labelling: a qualitative study exploring New Zealand consumers’ food purchasing behaviours
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Sodium and nutrition labelling: a qualitative study exploring New Zealand consumers’ food purchasing behaviours
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Sodium and nutrition labelling: a qualitative study exploring New Zealand consumers’ food purchasing behaviours
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email rachael.mclean@otago.ac.nz

References

Hide All
1. Brown, IJ, Tzoulaki, I, Candeias, V et al. (2009) Salt intakes around the world: implications for public health. Int J Epidemiol 38, 791813.
2. McLean, RM, Williams, SM, Mann, JI et al. (editors) (2011) How Much Sodium Are We Eating? Estimates of New Zealand Population Sodium Intake From the 2008/2009 Adult Nutrition Survey. Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand and the Nutrition Society of Australia; 2011. Queenstown: Nutrition Society of Australia.
3. Ministry of Health & University of Auckland (2003) Nutrition and the Burden of Disease: New Zealand 1997–2011. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
4. Webster, JL, Dunford, EK, Huxley, R et al. (2009) The development of a national salt reduction strategy for Australia. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 18, 303309.
5. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2009) How Much Salt and Sodium Are We Eating – Further Information. Canberra/Wellington: FSANZ; available at http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/scienceandeducation/factsheets/factsheets2009/howmuchsaltandsodium4551.cfm
6. Institute of Medicine (2010) Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
7. Peralez Gunn, J, Kuklina, EV, Keenan, NL et al. (2010) Sodium intake among adults – United States 2005–2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 59, 746749.
8. Bibbins-Domingo, K, Chertow, GM, Coxson, PG et al. (2010) Projected effect of dietary salt reductions on future cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 362, 590599.
9. Goodall, S, Gallego, G & Norman, R (2008) Scenario Modelling of Potential Health Benefits Subsequent to the Introduction of the Proposed Standards for Nutrition, Health and Related Claims. Sydney: Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation.
10. Medical Research Council, Human Nutrition Research (2005) Why 6g? A Summary of the Scientific Evidence for the Salt Intake Target. Cambridge: Medical Research Council.
11. Mattes, RD & Donnelly, D (1991) Relative contributions of dietary sodium sources. J Am Coll Nutr 10, 383393.
12. He, FJ & MacGregor, GA (2010) Reducing population salt intake worldwide: from evidence to implementation. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 52, 363382.
13. Food Standards Agency (2009) Food Standards Agency – UK Salt Reduction Initiatives. London: FSA.
14. Ministry for Primary Industries (2013) Nutrition Information Panels. Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries; available at http://www.foodsmart.govt.nz/elibrary/nutrition_information_panels.htm
15. New Zealand Food and Grocery Council (2010) The Daily Intake Guide. Wellington: New Zealand Food and Grocery Council; available at http://www.fgc.org.nz/daily_intake.asp
16. McLean, R, Hoek, J & Hedderley, D (2012) Effects of alternative label formats on choice of high- and low-sodium products in a New Zealand population sample. Public Health Nutr 15, 783791.
17. Malam, S, Clegg, S, Kirwan, S et al. (2009) Comprehension and Use of UK Nutrition Signpost Labelling Schemes. London: British Market Research Bureau Social Research.
18. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2010) Standard 2.10.2 – Salt and Salt Products. Canberra/Wellington: FSANZ; available at http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/foodstandards/foodstandardscode/standard2102saltands4286.cfm
19. Sadler, K, Nicholson, S, Steer, T et al. (2012) National Diet and Nutrition Survey – Assessment of Dietary Sodium in Adults (Aged 19–64 Years) in England, 2011. London: Department of Health.
20. Feltin, E (2010) Smack is bad, but the crackdown is on salt. Wall Street Journal, 14 January 2010; available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704281204575002880241611498.html
21. My Food. My Choice! (2010) About My Food. My Choice! http://www.myfoodmychoice.org/about (accessed November 2010).
22. Smith, FH (2010) Salt use personal choice. The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon), 13 August 2010; available at http://www.thestarphoenix.com/entertainment/Salt+personal+choice/3393589/story.html
23. McLean, R (2008) Cooking a low-salt meal: the ultimate culinary challenge. Kidney Int 74, 11051106.
24. Chaiken, S (1980) Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of source versus message cues in persuasion. J Pers Soc Psychol 39, 752766.
25. Zuckerman, A & Chaiken, S (1998) A heuristic–systematic processing analysis of the effectiveness of product warning labels. Psychol Mark 15, 621642.
26. Ni Mhurchu, C & Gorton, D (2007) Nutrition labels and claims in New Zealand and Australia: a review of use and understanding. Aust N Z J Public Health 31, 105112.
27. Tanner, RJ & Carlson, KA (2009) Unrealistically optimistic consumers: a selective hypothesis testing account for optimism in predictions of future behavior. J Consum Res 35, 810822.
28. Signal, L, Lanumata, T, Robinson, J et al. (2008) Perceptions of New Zealand nutrition labels by Maori, Pacific and low-income shoppers. Public Health Nutr 11, 706713.
29. Rothman, R, Housam, R, Weiss, H et al. (2006) Patient understanding of food labels: the role of literacy and numeracy. Am J Prev Med 31, 391398.
30. Hutchinson, JW & Alba, J (1991) Ignoring irrelevant information: situational determinants of consumer learning. J Consum Res 18, 325345.
31. Hamlin, RP (2010) Cue-based decision making. A new framework for understanding the uninvolved food consumer. Appetite 55, 8998.
32. Feunekes, G, Gortemaker, I, Willems, A et al. (2008) Front-of-pack nutrition labelling: testing effectiveness of different nutrition labelling formats front-of-pack in four European countries. Appetite 50, 5770.
33. Wilkinson, R & Marmot, M (1998) Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. Geneva: WHO.
34. Daly, J, Willis, K, Small, R et al. (2007) A hierarchy of evidence for assessing qualitative health research. J Clin Epidemiol 60, 4349.
35. Braun, V & Clarke, V (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol 3, 77101.
36. Health Canada (2010) Health Canada's Approach to Developing Sodium Targets for the Canadian Food Supply. Ottawa: Health Canada; available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/sodium/dev-etab-eng.php
37. Australian Department of Health and Ageing (2010) Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Food and Health Dialogue. Canberra: Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing; available at http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/food-health-dialogue
38. Cowburn, G & Stockley, L (2005) Consumer understanding and use of nutrition labelling: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr 8, 2128.
39. Maubach, N, Hoek, J & Gendall, P (2009). The effect of front-of-package nutrition information and product claims on consumers’ attitudinal evaluations and choice behaviours. Presented at the American Marketing Association Marketing and Public Policy Conference, Washington, DC, 28–30 May 2009.
40. Gorton, D, Ni Mhurchu, C, Signal, L et al. (2008) SIGnposting Nutrition Study (SIGNS), Final Report. Prepared for New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Health. Auckland: Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland.
41. Gorton, D (2007) Nutrition Labelling – Update of Scientific Evidence on Consumer Use and Understanding of Nutrition Labels and Claims. Prepared for the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and the Ministry of Health. Auckland: Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland.
42. World Action on Salt & Health, Australian Division (2007) Survey of Australian Consumer Awareness and Practices Relating to Salt. Sydney: The George Institute for International Health.
43. Papadakis, S, Pipe, AL, Moroz, IA et al. (2010) Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to dietary sodium among 35- to 50-year-old Ontario residents. Can J Cardiol 26, e164e169.
44. Claro, RM, Linders, H, Ricardo, CZ et al. (2012) Consumer attitudes, knowledge, and behavior related to salt consumption in sentinel countries of the Americas. Rev Panam Salud Publica 32, 265273.
45. Sutherland, J, Edwards, P, Shankar, B et al. (2013) Fewer adults add salt at the table after initiation of a national salt campaign in the UK: a repeated cross-sectional analysis. Br J Nutr (Epublication ahead of print version).
46. Ministry of Education (2013) Educational Attainment in the Adult Population. Wellington: Ministry of Health; available at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/indicators/main/education-and-learning-outcomes/1903
47. Baltas, G (2001) Nutrition labelling: issues and policies. Eur J Mark 35, 708721.
48. Statistics New Zealand (2006) 2006 Census. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand; available at http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage.aspx
49. Gorton, D, Ni Mhurchu, C, Chen, M et al. (2009) Nutrition labels: a survey of use, understanding and preferences among ethnically diverse shoppers in New Zealand. Public Health Nutr 12, 13591365.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed