Food Labels Can Be Misleading

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It’s no secret that food labels confuse people, but a new study from researcher OnePoll in partnership with Smart Lifebites’ parent Crispy Green found over half of Americans (53 percent) feel that labels can be sometimes misleading.

Label confusion is not new to Smart Lifebites. Last month we published a story that discussed food labels and provided information to help people better understand the information provided on the back of packages. However, the survey, which polled 2,000 Americans, found that label confusion is also tied to Americans’ distrust of the information provided to them.

Here are a few highlights:

– 33 percent of Americans consider transparency from a brand as an extremely important factor when purchasing food products.

– 11 percent of Americans find food labels to be completely untrustworthy.

– 82 percent of Americans have felt tricked by nutrition labels.

– 43 percent of Americans think brands are misleading consumers as a way to sell products. 

– 44 percent of Americans are skeptical of the health claims purported on food labels.

– More than two-thirds (77 percent) of Americans read food labels.

– 71 percent are looking at sugar when they read a nutrition label.

– 93 percent feel like companies mask the presence of sugar in their products by using different words on the actual label.

– Some 56 percent have found themselves eating something they later realized contained sugar.

– And a further 45 percent have eaten something for a year or longer only to find out that it was actually totally unhealthy.

– Sugar isn’t the only thing they’re looking for. The other top nutritional red flags for which people scrutinize labels are: calories, fat, sodium, and carbohydrates.

“People are waking up to the fact that what they eat has a direct correlation to their health,” said Angela Liu, Founder and CEO of Crispy Green. “So, it’s no wonder they’re scrutinizing labels — they want to take control of their wellbeing and this is a great place to start.”

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