An Educational Program Enhances Food Label Understanding of Young Adolescents

Keli M. Hawthorne, Karen Moreland, Ian J. Griffin, Steven A. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


While much research has focused on intake and eating behaviors of young adolescents, few studies have examined their knowledge of the Nutrition Facts label. The goals of this project were to assess the understanding of Nutrition Facts labels and the response of young adolescents to an educational program about Nutrition Facts labels. Thirty-four young adolescents participated by answering a short questionnaire and taking a pretest about Nutrition Facts labels and their food choices, which involved using actual Nutrition Facts labels from foods typically eaten by adolescents. Then the subjects participated in a short educational program on how to read the Nutrition Facts label. This was followed by a posttest. Initial knowledge of the basic use of the Nutrition Facts label was marginal, with only 6.65 (standard deviation=2.23) or ∼55% of pretest questions answered correctly. However, the subjects' scores improved significantly to 8.32 (standard deviation=2.01) or ∼70% correct on the posttest (P<0.0001, Fisher's exact test) after the educational session. In conclusion, young adolescents can learn how to read and understand the Nutrition Facts labels through educational sessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-916
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)


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