Comparison of visual attention and purchase intention of traffic light and warning disc supplementary nutritional labels in the Zamorano University student population

Luis Sandoval

Francisco Menendez

Juan Garcia Ajche

Brenda Mamani

Adriana Hernandez

Malnutrition is a health condition that either excise or deficient nutrient consumption can characterize. In the Latin American region, while there is still a high prevalence of undernutrition, the region also suffers from obesity, with an estimate that one in four adults is obese. One of the main drivers of the increasing prevalence of obesity is the poor quality of the diet, which commonly includes food items with excess calories, sodium, sugars, and saturated fats. (United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] et al., 2021). Nutritional labeling is how nutritional information on food packaging is presented to consumers. However, traditional or codex Alimentarius-approved labels are not always easy to understand, thus, limiting the capacity of consumers to make educated decisions about their food consumption. In this context, interpretative schemes such as supplementary nutritional information labels are an easier-to-understand alternative (PAHO and WHO, 2022). These supplementary nutritional information labels aim to prevent the excessive consumption of calories, sodium, and fat, among other nutrients (Ikonen et al., 2020). The traffic light and the warning disc are the most popular supplementary nutritional labels. The traffic light and the warning disc have been implemented in many countries, such as Ecuador and Mexico in Latin America. Most of the research that supports the adoption of either label focuses on the understanding of the labels by consumers. Little research focuses on actual visual attention to the labels and their potential impact on purchase intention. Therefore, the objective of this research was to evaluate visual attention and purchase intention when the traffic light and warning disc supplementary nutrition labels are present in processed and ultra-processed food products. 

This publication uses Eye Tracking which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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