Article/Paraguay – Reading, interpretation and use of nutritional labeling in adults in a neighborhood of Asunción

Introduction. Nutritional labeling informs the consumer about the type and content of nutrients, favoring the appropriate selection according to their needs or health conditions. Objective. Evaluate the reading, interpretation
and use of nutritional food labeling in the purchase decision of adults from the Villa Morra neighborhood of Asunción consulted in June 2018.

and methods. Cross-sectional descriptive study, with the application of a structured questionnaire through an interview, with questions about sociodemographic data, reading frequency, reasons for reading or not, use of nutritional labeling, content reviewed by the consumer, interpretation of the terms contribution and Percentage of Daily Value (%DV) and agreement with the implementation of front labeling.

Results. Of 100 interviewees, 73% reported reading (always and sometimes) the nutritional labeling, 48% of these use it for the selection and purchase of food and 75% of the general population you do not know or do not interpret the terms of portion and %DV. The reasons associated with reading were “concern about the health of their family” (36%), “being on a diet” (33%), and “curiosity” (23%); not reading was referred to for reasons such as “due to lack of time” (61.7%) and “because it is not well visible, it is very small” (28%); 91% think implementation of the front labeling of food as an alert method is necessary.

Conclusion. The reading of nutritional labeling is frequent, but its correct interpretation and use is not, which is why it is urgent to establish educational campaigns aimed at the population and implement front labeling to facilitate and speed up reading and interpretation.