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Effects of interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels on food purchases: protocol for the Starlight randomised controlled trial

Volkova, Ekaterina, Neal, Bruce, Rayner, Mike, Swinburn, Boyd, Eyles, Helen, Jiang, Yannan, Michie, Jo and Ni Mhurchu, Cliona 2014, Effects of interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels on food purchases: protocol for the Starlight randomised controlled trial, BMC public health, vol. 14, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-968.

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Title Effects of interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels on food purchases: protocol for the Starlight randomised controlled trial
Author(s) Volkova, Ekaterina
Neal, Bruce
Rayner, Mike
Swinburn, Boyd
Eyles, Helen
Jiang, Yannan
Michie, Jo
Ni Mhurchu, Cliona
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 14
Article ID 968
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2014-09-18
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) Adult
Australia
Comprehension
Female
Food
Food Labeling
Food Preferences
Health Behavior
Health Promotion
Humans
Male
New Zealand
Surveys and Questionnaires
technology
mobile applications
nutrition policy
randomized controlled trial (RCT)
traffic-light label
health star rating label
Summary BACKGROUND: Interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels are better understood than non-interpretive labels. However, robust evidence on the effects of such labels on consumer food purchases in the real-world is lacking. Our aim is to assess the effects of two interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels, compared with a non-interpretive label, on the healthiness of consumer food purchases.

METHODS/DESIGN: A five-week (1-week baseline and 4-week intervention) three-arm parallel randomised controlled trial will be conducted using a bespoke smartphone application, which will administer study questionnaires and deliver intervention (Multiple Traffic Light and Health Star Rating) and control (Nutrition Information Panel) labels. To view their allocated nutrition label, participants scan the barcode of packaged food products using their smartphone camera. The assigned label is displayed instantly on the smartphone screen.1500 eligible participants (New Zealand adult smartphone owners who shop in a supermarket at least once a week and are main household shoppers) will be randomised in a 1:1:1 ratio to one of the three nutrition label formats, using computer-generated randomisation sequences. Randomisation will be stratified by ethnicity and interest in healthy eating. Food and beverage purchase data will be collected continuously throughout the study via hard copy till receipts and electronic grocery purchase lists recorded and transmitted using the smartphone application. The primary outcome will be healthiness of food purchases in each trial arm, assessed as mean Food Standards Australia New Zealand nutrient profiling score criterion score for all food and beverages purchased over the intervention period. Secondary outcomes will include saturated fat, sugar, sodium and energy content of food purchases; food expenditure; labelling profile of food purchases (i.e. mean number of Health Star Rating stars and proportion of red, green and amber traffic lights); nutrient profiling score over time and by food categories; purchases of unpackaged foods; self-reported nutrition knowledge and recorded use of assigned labelling system.

DISCUSSION: The Starlight randomised, controlled trial will determine the effects of interpretive front-of-pack nutrition labels on the healthiness of consumer food purchases in the real world.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-14-968
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30099453

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.