Nutrition Label Use of Pre-packaged Food Among University Students in Surabaya, Indonesia

Dini Ririn Andrias

Abstract


Nutrition label is part of food label which provides information on the nutrient contents of pre- packaged food and may help consumers to choose "healthier" foods. Studies showed that consumers were interested to know nutrition label. On the other hand, studies also found that nutrition label use was low. Unlike developed countries which applied more interactive formats, Indonesia still apply conventional format of nutrition labeling. This study was aimed to describe nutrition label use among University students and identify factors associated to nutrition label use. This cross sectional study was done in a state University in Surabaya on May to November 2013, involving 106 randomly selected students from health-related and non health-related degree programs. Data were collected through interview using structured questionnaire. Chi square test were performed to analyze factors associated to food label use, and significance were determined when p <0.05. The study found that most of the respondents (73.58%) agreed that nutrition information is important and should be put on food label, however, only 39.6% of the respondents always or frequently read nutrition label. Overall, as much as 88.7% respondents stated that they found difficulty to interpret information on nutrition label. Students from health-related study program were more likely to read nutrition label, probably due to they could understand nutrition label and due to awareness on health. Factors which significantly associated to nutrition label use were knowledge on nutrition and health (p < 0.01), respondent's perception on the benefit of nutrition label (p < 0.01), and respondents' perception on the easiness or difficulty to understand food label (p < 0:05). There is a need to explore and apply more interactive ways to display nutrition information on food label which are distributed in Indonesia, since the use of nutrition label was quite low, even among

educated group. 


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