Journalism Science

Can you read food labels? Most Americans say they can

Color me doubtful on this one…

Nielson Wire has released the results of a world-wide study on people’s understanding of food labels and health issues. And according to a survey, 57% of Americans responded that they believe they understand food labels “mostly.” But the problem with opinion polls of this type is that your opinion of your knowledge and your actual knowledge do not in any way need to agree. This isn’t really an opinion poll question, since your knowledge of a subject could have been tested.

Comparing the distance, on average, between people’s perception and a quantified measurement would certainly be interesting. That distance could be non-existent, it could be miles, no way to know from this poll.

The other problem with this study is: I don’t see any methodology link. How did Nielson go about finding people for the poll? Cell phone? Random field sampling? Because both of those methods would, depending on the neighbourhood, yield vastly different results.

Food Labeling Confusion Weighs Heavily on Minds of Global Consumers | Nielsen Wire.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.