Medline Plus writes that with all the different products grocery stores offer, it is often difficult to make the best food choices. Food labels can make this task a little easier. Packaged foods are required to carry labels by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food labels should include, serving size, number of servings and number of calories per serving, and information about the amount of dietary fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, dietary sodium, carbohydrates, dietary proteins, vitamins and minerals in each serving. On March 12, 2013, Science Daily has reported, Green Food Labels Make Nutrition-Poor Food Seem Healthy.
A Cornell researcher has written in the current issue of the journal Health Communication that consumers are more likely to perceive that a candy bar is more healthful when it has a green calorie label, in comparison with when it had a red one, even though the number of calories are the same. Furthermore, green labels increase perceived healthfulness of foods, particularly among consumers who place a high importance on healthy eating. Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication and director of Cornell's Social Cognition and Communication Lab, has said, "Our research suggests that the color of calorie labels may have an effect on whether people perceive the food as healthy, over and above the actual nutritional information conveyed by the label, such as calorie content."
In this study, Schuldt asked 93 university students to imagine that they were hungry and see a candy bar while waiting to check out at a grocery. These students were then shown an image of a candy bar which has either a red or a green calorie label. Schuldt than asked the students whether the candy bar, compared to others, contains more or fewer calories and how healthy it is. The students participating in the study more often perceived the green-labeled bar as being more healthful than the red one, even though the calorie content was the same. Schuldt has said, "As government organizations including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration consider developing a uniform front-of-package labeling system for the U.S. marketplace, these findings suggest that the design and color of the labels may deserve as much attention as the nutritional information they convey."