Sociodemographic differences in nutrition labels effect on Chilean and Mexican youth

Quevedo et al.


To examine sociodemographic differences in the awareness, understanding, use and effect of nutrition labels among Mexican and Chilean youth. 


Online surveys among youth (10-17 years) were obtained in 2019 (n=2631). Participants reported their awareness, understanding, and use of their country-specific nutrition facts tables (NFT) and front-of-pack labels (FOPL) (Chile: warning labels [WLs]; Mexico: guideline daily amounts [GDA]). Additionally, participants reported their perceived healthfulness of a sweetened fruit drink after viewing one of six versions of it with different FOPL (no-label control, Health Star Rating, WLs, GDAs, Traffic Light, or Nutri-Score) during an experimental task. 


Higher self-reported nutrition knowledge was associated with higher NFT and FOPL awareness, understanding, and use, except for WL use. WLs were the most effective FOPL in decreasing the perceived healthfulness of the sweetened fruit drink compared to a no-label condition and other FOP labels. In Chile, the effect of GDA differed by income adequacy, while in Mexico Nutri-Score differed by age. 


Results suggest that nutrition label awareness, use, understanding, and impact differ across demographics, favoring higher income and nutrition knowledge. Despite this, WLs are likely to have a positive impact on nutrition-related knowledge and behaviors among Mexican and Chilean youth, independently of their socio-demographic groups.

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