Publication
Title
The impact of nutritional labeling on adult snack choices : a controlled field experiment in a non-commercial professional setting
Author
Abstract
Each year, 2.8 million people die because of comorbidities associated with being overweight. Snacking substantially contributes to people’s calorie intake. One way to nudge consumers towards healthier alternatives is the implementation of nutritional labeling. This study reports on a controlled field experiment that evaluates the effect of two nutritional labels on free snack choices (n = 739). Participants at a conference could choose between nuts, cookies, and candy bars as a snack, presented at the bar at six different locations across 2 bar counters. The labels were set up in front of each snack in three conditions: no labeling (control), a calorie label, or a traffic light label (i.e., the Nutri-Score). The location of the snacks on the counter (Either side of the counter; Center, Right, Left) and the time-of-day (Morning (=reference) vs Afternoon) were statistically controlled for. The results show that calorie labels could not successfully nudge consumers toward healthier snack choices (nuts instead of candy bars or cookies). In contrast, the Nutri-Score label significantly increased the probability of choosing nuts over candy bars. The Nutri-Score also increased the chance of choosing nuts over cookies, but the difference was not significant. No prior studies to our knowledge have directly compared calorie labels to the Nutri-Score. This study suggests that the Nutri-Score label can be a more successful intervention than calorie labels to nudge consumers towards healthier choices in situations were free snacks are offered, like many modern workplaces. Changing snacking behavior is challenging and naturalistic field experiments like this one are needed to translate the theory from previous laboratory studies to real-life settings.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Appetite: the journal for research on intake, its control and its consequence. - London
Publication
London : 2024
ISSN
0195-6663
DOI
10.1016/J.APPET.2023.107167
Volume/pages
193 (2024) , p. 1-12
Article Reference
107167
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 21.12.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 21.12.2023
Last edited 23.12.2023
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