Promoting Healthy Food Choices: The Effect of the Nutri-Score on Healthy Food Choices among Young People of Different Educational Levels
Weetering, Davy van de
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One reason why people do not always make healthy food choices is because they lack nutritional knowledge to identify which food product is the healthier option. A way to simplify the process of making healthy food choices is by providing people with a specific front of package label: the Nutri-Score. Previous research showed that the Nutri-Score helps people identify the healthier food option, but the literature about its ability to nudge people into choosing the healthier option is inconclusive. In the current study, the effect of the Nutri-Score on healthy food choices among young Dutch people (aged 18 to 30) was investigated by the use of an online experiment. We expected that the Nutri-Score would lead to healthier food choices. Furthermore, we expected this presumed positive effect to be larger for lower than higher educated people since they have less nutritional knowledge and therefore would have more to gain from the Nutri-Score. Participants (N = 100) had to choose between three similar food products with different nutritional values. This was repeated with different products for eight trials. Participants in the experimental condition were provided with the Nutri-Score when making food choices. We found that the Nutri-Score indeed led to healthier food choices, but that this effect did not differ per educational level. A limitation of this research was the small sample size and the uneven distribution of educational level. Future research could investigate whether the effect of the Nutri-Score differs in a (simulated) real-life online supermarket.