Do Americans Really Pay Attention to Food Labels?
July 22, 2006
A survey of over 1,000 adults found that while 80 percent of Americans read food labels at the grocery store to check for things like calories, fat content and sugar, 44 percent will still buy the item, no matter how bad the label looks.
The AP-Ipsos poll, conducted May 30 to June 1, found some interesting insights that may shed some light on why two-thirds of Americans are overweight.
- 65 percent of women checked labels, compared to 51 percent of men.
- Women were more likely than men, 82 percent versus 64 percent, respectively, to view nutrition content as important.
- 76 percent of married men checked labels, compared to 65 percent of unmarried men.
Further, while 39 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 said they look at calories on food labels, 60 percent of this age group was more likely to buy unhealthy foods -- even after checking the label.
While experts believe that most people do read labels, they stress that it's not just for weight loss purposes. People with diabetes check labels to steer clear of sugars, those with high blood pressure check for salt and others look just out of curiosity.