PAETE.ORG FORUMS
Paetenians Home on the Net

HOME | ABOUT PAETE | USAP PAETE MUNISIPYO  | MEMBERS ONLY  | PICTORIAL PAETE | SINING PAETE  | LINKS  |

FORUM GUIDELINES
please read before posting

USAP PAETE Forum Index USAP PAETE
Discussion Forums for the people of Paete, Laguna, Philippines
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch    UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

(Health) Food Nutrition Labels (Calories)

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    USAP PAETE Forum Index -> Science Lessons Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: (Health) Food Nutrition Labels (Calories) Reply with quote






Elsevier Health Sciences
26 September 2006

Understanding food nutrition labels challenging for many people

In one of the most rigorous studies ever conducted to determine how well people comprehend the information provided on food nutrition labels, researchers have found that the reading and math skills of a significant number of people may not be sufficient to extract the needed information, according to an article published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Using standardized and validated tests for literacy (REALM -Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine) and numeracy (WRAT3 - Wide Range Achievement Test), researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center surveyed 200 primary care patients from a wide socioeconomic range. A Nutrition Label Survey (NLS), designed with input from registered dietitians, primary care providers, and experts in health literacy/numeracy to evaluate patient understanding of current nutrition labels, was used to measure comprehension of current food nutrition labels. One part of the NLS asked subjects to interpret food labels, such as determining carbohydrate or caloric content of an amount of food consumed. The other part asked patients to choose which of two foods had more or less of a certain nutrient, giving patients a 50/50 chance to guess the correct food item. Also, half of the survey questions involved products that were clearly labeled on their package as "reduced carb," "low carb," or designed for "a low-carb diet."

Sixty-eight percent of patients had at least some college education, and 77% had at least 9th-grade level literacy skills. However, 63% of patients had less than 9th-grade numeracy skills. Over 40% had a chronic illness for which specific dietary intervention is important (e.g., hypertension, diabetes), and 23% reported being on a specific diet plan. Most patients reported using food labels and found labels easy to understand.

Overall, patients correctly answered 69% (SD 21%) of the NLS questions. For example, only 32% of patients could correctly calculate the amount of carbohydrates consumed in a 20-ounce bottle of soda that had 2.5 servings in the bottle. Only 60% of patients could calculate the number of carbohydrates consumed if they ate half a bagel, when the serving size was a whole bagel. Only 22% of patients could determine the amount of net carbohydrates in 2 slices of low-carb bread, and only 23% could determine the amount of net carbohydrates in a serving of low-carb spaghetti. Common reasons for incorrect responses included misapplication of the serving size, confusion by extraneous material on the food label, and incorrect calculations.

According to Russell L. Rothman, MD MPP, "The study showed that many patients struggle to understand current food labels, and that this can be particularly challenging for patients with poor literacy and numeracy (math) skills. Poor understanding of nutrition labels can make it difficult for patients to follow a good diet. Of particular concern are situations that involve interpretation and application of serving size. There are many opportunities for health care providers to improve how they talk to patients about using food labels and following diets. There are also opportunities for the FDA to improve how food labels are designed in order to improve how patients take care of their nutrition

###
The article is "Patient Understanding of Food Labels: The Role of Literacy and Numeracy" by Russell L. Rothman, MD MPP, Ryan Housam, BS, Hilary Weiss, BS, Dianne Davis, RD CDE, Rebecca Gregory, MS RD CDE, Tebeb Gebretsadik MPH, Ayumi Shintani, PHD MPH, and Tom A. Elasy, MD MPH.

The article appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 31, Issue 5 (November 2006) published by Elsevier.

*************************************************************
Questions to explore further this topic:

Proper nutrition and diet

http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/KidsPyra/
http://www.paete.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=788
http://www.mypyramid.gov/
http://www.dole5aday.com/Teachers/T_Index.jsp
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/5ADay/

What are food nutrition labels?

http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/.....abels.html
http://www.kidshealth.org/pare.....abels.html
http://www.ncagr.com/cyber/kid.....labels.htm
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/foodlab.html
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/vltlabel.html
http://www.fda.gov/opacom/back.....label.html

The Nutrition Source, Knowledge for Healthy Eating
Harvard School of Public Health


http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/

Consumer information on food ingredients and packaging

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opa-bckg.html

What is a food calorie?

http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch152/ch152e.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_energy

What is a calorie (An Energy in Food Experiment)

http://www.mr-damon.com/experi.....od_energy/

Nutrition facts and calorie counter

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH...../7090.html
http://www.nutritiondata.com/
http://www.calorieking.com/foo.....php?cat=21
http://www.wvda.org/calcs/

Calories from food database

http://www.annecollins.com/calories/index.htm

Calorie assessment (food intake and body activity)

http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/

Comparing Calories in Fast Food Burgers and Chicken (Grades 5-Cool - A Class Activity

http://www.pbs.org/teachersour.....vity2.shtm

Food Type = ? Calories / Square Meter (A Classroom Activity)

http://www.accessexcellence.or...../food.html

Fat Screener

http://www.nutritionquest.com/.....reener.htm

Fruit, Vegetable, Fiber Screener

http://www.nutritionquest.com/.....reener.htm

Nutrition data on Chinese food

http://www.intelihealth.com/IH...../9290.html

How many calories do children need?

http://www.kidsnutrition.org/c.....ulator.htm

GAMES

http://www.fns.usda.gov/eatsmartplayhardkids/
http://www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/
http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/k....._hands.htm


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:32 am    Post subject: UGA professor finds that confusion about Calories is nothing Reply with quote

UGA professor finds that confusion about Calories is nothing new
Writer: Andrea Sarisky
Nov 17, 2006, 15:26

Athens, Ga. – While enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, most try to avoid thinking about the seemingly unending number of Calories they’re consuming.

It probably never crosses their minds, however, to think about why food is measured in Calories.

James L. Hargrove, associate professor of foods and nutrition in the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences, said many nutritionists aren’t even sure of the true origin of the Calorie (or why it’s supposed to be capitalized).

“We all teach this unit, and nobody knows where it came from, not even the historians of nutrition,” he said.

After this realization, Hargrove began studying the origins of the Calorie. He details his findings in a study to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Formally, a Calorie is a measure of the amount of energy required to heat one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. It was first used in engineering and physics, but eventually found its niche in nutrition, where it is used to measure the amount of energy food contains.

Hargrove found that there’s some controversy about who “invented” the Calorie. Some references show that two Frenchmen, P.A. Favre and J.T. Silbermann, invented the Calorie in 1852. Other texts state that a German physician, Julius Mayer, effectively invented the Calorie in a study he published in 1848.

Hargrove credits the French chemist Nicholas Clement with the invention, however, citing lecture notes from Clement that define the term as early as 1819.

He credits Mayer with beginning a dialogue about food as an energy source. Before Mayer’s time, people thought that energy was God-given; they made no concrete connections between food they ate and the energy on which their bodies ran.

Despite the confusion over who invented the unit, Hargrove notes that the Calorie as a nutritional unit came to the U.S. by way of a man named Wilbur Atwater in 1887. Shortly afterward, the science of nutrition began to take hold in the U.S.

A popular early nutrition text published in 1918 by Lulu Hunt Peters outlined the first methods of counting Calories. In her bestseller, Diet and Health, with the Key to the Calories, Peters outlined 100-Calorie portions of many foodstuffs and preached counting Calories as a way to regulate weight.

Hargrove notes that one common misunderstanding about the Calorie is why it is spelled with an uppercase “C” rather than a lowercase “c.” Owing to the obscure origins of the measure, there was confusion about whether or not a calorie was defined as the amount of heat required to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius or one gram of water one degree Celsius. As the Calorie became popular in nutrition, it became more practical to measure the amount of kilograms. To denote this, a capital “C” refers to a kilogram calorie, while a lowercase “c” refers to a gram calorie.

"In food and daily energy, we use so much energy that if you measure in gram calories, you're talking about two million calories a day," he said. "And who wants to think about that?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:52 am    Post subject: Eat Out, Eat Smart Reply with quote

Eat Out, Eat Smart
Emily Sohn

Feb. 7, 2007

Eating out forces you to make some important decisions: Do you want french fries or onion rings? Ranch dressing or vinaigrette? Ice cream or cheesecake?
Depending on where you live, many of your favorite restaurants may soon add another type of choice to their menus: high-calorie or low. New York City will even require certain restaurants to put nutrition information on their menus. The city will also ban heart-damaging trans fats from restaurants and bakeries.

For the full article:

http://www.sciencenewsforkids......ature1.asp
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: Study examines calorie restriction and glycemic load Reply with quote

Tufts University
9 April 2007

Study examines calorie restriction and glycemic load
Friedman Nutrition Notes

Boston — The first phase of a caloric restriction study in human subjects at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University found evidence suggesting that calorie-restricted diets differing substantially in glycemic load can result in comparable long-term weight loss. The study, part of the multi-center Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Restricting Intake of Energy (CALERIE) trial, funded by the National Institute on Aging, accounted for dietary factors that affect hunger and satiety, used laboratory techniques to measure adherence, and was the first of its kind to provide a complete set of meals and snacks to its participants. Recruitment is currently underway for participation in the second phase of the CALERIE study at Tufts, which will examine the relationship between calorie-restricted diets, aging, and age-related disease.

"Participants in our pilot study achieved and maintained comparable weight loss after one year, regardless of whether they were on a low-glycemic-load or a high-glycemic-load diet," says corresponding author Susan Roberts, PhD, director of the USDA HNRCA's Energy Metabolism Laboratory. "The goal was for both groups to restrict calories by 30 percent and, after one year, both groups had lost an average of 8 percent of their original body weight. We found that the two groups did not differ significantly in their average body fat loss, energy intake, metabolic rate, or reports of hunger and satiety."

The two study diets were carefully matched for factors known to influence food intake during weight-loss efforts, such as palatability, dietary variety, and fiber. "Because there was careful attention to factors that influence hunger and satiety, participants were generally satisfied on a calorie-restricted diet," says Roberts, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

Thirty-four overweight but otherwise healthy men and women were assigned randomly to a low-glycemic-load (LG) or high-glycemic-load (HG) diet. At six months, the LG group had lost an average of 10.4 percent body weight, while the HG group had lost an average of 9 percent body weight. By 12 months, participants in both the LG and HG groups had lost an average of 8 percent of their starting body weight.

"Unlike several other long-term studies, which have reported greater weight loss with low GL diets at six months but no differences by 12 months, our data show no significant short-term or long-term differences," notes Sai Das, PhD, scientist at the USDA HNRCA and first author of the study. "However, we did detect a greater tendency for weight and body-fat regain among LG participants. This finding suggests that reduced calorie intake may be harder to sustain on LG diets over time."

The LG diet contained 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent protein; while the HG diet contained 60 percent carbohydrate, 20 percent fat, and 20 percent protein. A food's glycemic load is a relative measure of how much carbohydrate is in the food and how quickly that food is converted in the body to blood sugar. Examples of foods provided as part of the LG diet include bean and barley stew, low-fat cottage cheese, and pumpernickel bread. The HG diet included foods like bagels, candied sweet potatoes and shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes.

Both diets were designed to restrict calories by 30 percent, relative to a person's baseline energy requirements, while providing the recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. All participants attended weekly behavioral support groups and met individually with a dietitian.

To measure objectively actual dietary intakes, the researchers used a laboratory technique involving doubly labeled water. They determined that both groups ate more calories than study foods provided; at six months the HG group averaged a 16 percent calorie-restricted diet and the LG group averaged a 17 percent calorie-restricted diet. Although participants did consume additional calories, the degree of non-adherence was not significantly different between the LG and HG groups when measured at various points throughout the study.

"An important difference between our study and other weight-loss trials is that we did not rely on self-reported intakes," says Das, who is also an assistant professor at the Friedman School. "Underreporting of caloric intake can vary between 5 and 50 percent. By providing the study food for the first six months, we did not have to worry as much about lifestyle factors like shopping and cooking habits interfering with dietary change."

Roberts previously conducted a pilot study showing that a diet's overall glycemic load may be an important determinant of weight loss for people with high levels of insulin secretion, such as people with diabetes. "We have observed that for some groups, glycemic load may impact weight loss. However, in terms of calorie-restricted diets, we see little difference among diets of varying glycemic load when we account for factors that affect dietary adherence."


###
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health; the USDA; and the Boston Obesity Nutrition Research Center. For more information about ongoing recruitment for the second phase of the CALERIE study at Tufts, call (800) 738-7555, or visit http://hnrc.tufts.edu/studies/2520.shtml
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:53 am    Post subject: Calorie density key to losing weight Reply with quote

Penn State
8 June 2007

Calorie density key to losing weight

Eating smart, not eating less, may be the key to losing weight. A year-long clinical trial by Penn State researchers shows that diets focusing on foods that are low in calorie density can promote healthy weight loss while helping people to control hunger.

Foods that are high in water and low in fat – such as fruits, vegetables, soup, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products – are low in calorie density and provide few calories per bite.

“Eating a diet that is low in calorie density allows people to eat satisfying portions of food, and this may decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation while reducing calories” said Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin, who conducted the study as part of her doctoral dissertation in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. Previously, little was known about the influence of diets low in calorie density on body weight.

“Such diets are known to reduce the intake of calories in the short term, but their role in promoting weight loss over the long term was not clear,” said Dr. Barbara J. Rolls, who directed the study and who holds the Helen A. Guthrie Chair of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State.

“We have now shown that choosing foods that are low in calorie density helps in losing weight, without the restrictive messages of other weight loss diets,” explained Ello-Martin, whose findings appear in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers compared the effects of two diets – one reduced in fat, the other high in water-rich foods as well as reduced in fat – in 71 obese women aged 22 to 60. The participants were taught by dietitians to make appropriate food choices for a diet low in calorie density, but unlike most diets, they were not assigned daily limits for calories.

At the end of one year, women in both groups showed significant weight loss as well as a decrease in the calorie density of their diets. However, women who added water-rich foods to their diets lost more weight during the first six months of the study than those who only reduced fat in their diets – 19.6 pounds compared to 14.7 pounds. Weight loss was well maintained by subjects in both groups during the second six months of the study.

Records kept by the women showed that those who included more water-rich foods ate 25 percent more food by weight and felt less hungry than those who followed the reduced-fat diet. “By eating more fruits and vegetables they were able to eat more food, and this probably helped them to stick to their diet and lose more weight,” said Ello-Martin.


###
“Choosing foods that are low in calorie density helps to control hunger and is a healthy strategy for losing weight over the long term” said Rolls. Practical information on incorporating foods with a low calorie density in daily diets can be found in Rolls’ books “The Volumetrics Eating Plan” (2007) and “The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan” (2000).

The Penn State researchers added that increasing the consumption of water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables is not only in tune with current dietary guidelines, but may also help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.

Other researchers in the clinical trial, which was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, include Liane S. Roe, research nutritionist; Jenny H. Ledikwe, post-doctoral research fellow; and Amanda M. Beach, study dietician, all at Penn State.

The Penn State Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior is at http://nutrition.hhdev.psu.edu/foodlab/index.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Researchers find connection between caloric restriction and Reply with quote

Harvard Medical School

Researchers find connection between caloric restriction and longevity

BOSTON, Mass. (September 20, 2007)--For nearly 70 years scientists have known that caloric restriction prolongs life. In everything from yeast to primates, a significant decrease in calories can extend lifespan by as much as one-third. But getting under the hood of the molecular machinery that drives this longevity has remained elusive.

Now, reporting in the September 21 issue of the journal Cell, researchers from Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with scientists from Cornell Medical School and the National Institutes of Health, have discovered two genes in mammalian cells that act as gatekeepers for cellular longevity. When cells experience certain kinds of stress, such as caloric restriction, these genes rev up and help protect cells from diseases of aging.

"We've reason to believe now that these two genes may be potential drug targets for diseases associated with aging," says David Sinclair, associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and senior author on the paper.

The new genes that Sinclair's group have discovered, in collaboration with Anthony Sauve of Cornell Medical School and Rafael de Cabo of NIH, are called SIRT3 and SIRT4. They are members of a larger class of genes called sirtuins. (Another gene belonging to this family, SIRT1, was shown last year to also have a powerful impact on longevity when stimulated by the red-wine molecule resveratrol.)

In this paper, the newly discovered role of SIRT3 and SIRT4 drives home something scientists have suspected for a long time: mitochondria are vital for sustaining the health and longevity of a cell.

Mitochondria, a kind of cellular organ that lives in the cytoplasm, are often considered to be the cell's battery packs. When mitochondria stability starts to wane, energy is drained out of the cell, and its days are numbered. In this paper, Sinclair and his collaborators discovered that SIRT3 and SIRT4 play a vital role in a longevity network that maintains the vitality of mitochondria and keeps cells healthy when they would otherwise die.

When cells undergo caloric restriction, signals sent in through the membrane activate a gene called NAMPT. As levels of NAMPT ramp up, a small molecule called NAD begins to amass in the mitochondria. This, in turn, causes the activity of enzymes created by the SIRT3 and SIRT4 genes--enzymes that live in the mitochondria--to increase as well. As a result, the mitochondria grow stronger, energy-output increases, and the cell's aging process slows down significantly. (Interestingly, this same process is also activated by exercise.)

"We're not sure yet what particular mechanism is activated by these increased levels of NAD, and as a result SIRT3 and SIRT4," says Sinclair, "but we do see that normal cell-suicide programs are noticeably attenuated. This is the first time ever that SIRT3 and SIRT4 have been linked to cell survival."

In fact, the mitochondria appear to be so essential to the cell's life that when all other energy sources inside the cell--including the nucleus--are wiped out, yet the mitochondria are kept intact and functional, the cell remains alive.

"Mitochondria are the guardians of cell survival," says Sinclair. "If we can keep boosting levels of NAD in the mitochondria, which in turn stimulates buckets more of SIRT3 and SIRT4, then for a period of time the cell really needs nothing else."

Sinclair and his colleagues have coined a phrase for this observation: the Mitochondrial Oasis Hypothesis.

SIRT3 and SIRT4 may now also be potential drug targets for diseases associated with aging. For example, in recent years scientists have become increasingly aware of the importance of mitochondrial function in treating diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration.

"Theoretically, we can envision a small molecule that can increase levels of NAD, or SIRT3 and SIRT4 directly, in the mitochondria," says Sinclair. "Such a molecule could be used for many age-related diseases."

According to Suave of Cornell, "This study also highlights how advanced technological methods can help resolve fundamental biological questions in ways that were hard to achieve as recently as a few years ago."


###
This study is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging. Sinclair and Suave are consultants to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a company aiming to treat diseases by modulating sirtuins. Sinclair is also a cofounder of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and sits on their advisory board and board of directors.

Full Citation:
Cell, Volume 130, Issue 5, September 21, 2007
"Nutrient-Sensitive Mitochondrial NAD+ Levels Dictate Cell Survival"
Hongying Yang(1,6), Tianle Yang(2), Joseph A. Baur(1), Evelyn Perez(3), Takashi Matsui(5), Juan J. Carmona(1), Dudley W. Lamming(1), Nadja C. Souza-Pinto(4), Vilhelm A. Bohr(4), Anthony Rosenzweig(5), Rafael de Cabo(3), Anthony A. Sauve(2), and David A. Sinclair(1)

1-Department of Pathology, Paul F. Glenn Laboratories, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
2-Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY
3-Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology
4-Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, National Institute on Aging, Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD
5-Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
6-Present address: Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Medical School (www.hms.harvard.edu) has more than 7,000 full-time faculty working in eight academic departments based at the School's Boston quadrangle or in one of 47 academic departments at 18 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and VA Boston Healthcare System.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
adedios
SuperPoster


Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Got calcium? UWM researcher finds that food labels confuse c Reply with quote

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
5 October 2007

Got calcium? UWM researcher finds that food labels confuse consumers
Consumers often don't get nutritional information they need

Current food labeling leads to under-consumption of calcium, according to this study. Those who were taught how to translate the information consumed more. Researchers believe the same is true for other beneficial nutrients.

A woman at risk for osteoporosis is told by her doctor to get 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium every day. But when she looks at the Nutrition Facts panel on a carton of yogurt or a jug of milk, she finds that calcium is only listed by “Percent Daily Value” (%DV).

How does she convert that to milligrams?

If she’s like most of us…she can’t. And neither can her doctor.

Those were among the findings of research conducted by Laura A. Peracchio, professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and Lauren Block, professor of marketing at Baruch College (CUNY). The results were so compelling that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added information to its Web site on how to translate %DV to milligrams.

The problem

The research, which involved three separate studies and a follow-up, is discussed in “The Calcium Quandary: How Consumers Use Nutrition Labels for Daily Diet,” published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. Peracchio and Block found that:


In Study 1, only two of 37 respondents correctly translated the calcium information on a carton of yogurt from %DV to milligrams.


In Study 2, when 20 physicians were shown the same label, only six gave the right answer in milligrams. (Asked how the calculation was done, one physician who gave an incorrect answer replied: “I have no idea. I made it up.”) Yet most doctors dispense calcium recommendations to their patients in milligrams.

The central question of the research, Peracchio and Block write, is: “How do consumers make food consumption decisions when product information falls short of providing the nutritional knowledge needed for personal health consumption goals"”

And the answer

The answer is found in Study 3, which involved 41 women who were pregnant or breast-feeding. All had been told by their doctors or had read independently that they needed 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium a day.

Half of the women were given a one-page calcium fact sheet including the formula for converting %DV to milligrams. The formula is simple – %DV is based on the average recommended calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams daily. To convert %DV to milligrams, just add “0” to the percentage on the label. For example, a carton of milk delivering 30% DV contains 300 milligrams of calcium.

The women who were given the fact sheet consumed significantly more average daily calcium (a mean of 1,429.78 milligrams) than women who were not given the fact sheet (a mean of 988.24 milligrams).

Current labeling leads to under-consumption of calcium, the research showed. The women who were not given the fact sheet may have consumed close to 100%DV of calcium daily, but it fell short of the 120-150% DV they really needed.

“This is particularly worrisome with at-risk populations such as those over 55 years of age, or pregnant or lactating women,” says Peracchio.

Teenage girls also need extra calcium, she points out, and a study reported this summer in The New York Times suggests that consuming high levels of vitamin D and calcium may offer some protection against the most aggressive kinds of breast cancer.

Other nutrients affected

Peracchio and Block point out that the difficulty in translating the Nutrition Facts panel on food products goes beyond calcium.

“The challenge of using the Nutrition Facts panel to make adequate food consumption decisions is similar for other nutrients that consumers often do not consume enough of, such as dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron….”

The Nutrition Facts panel is separated into two categories: the top of the panel lists nutrients that should be limited (fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc.); “good” nutrients are listed at the bottom (calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins A and C, etc.).

“Much more attention and educational efforts have been paid to the former than to the latter,” the research concluded.

“Helping people better navigate the consumer environment” is extremely rewarding work, Peracchio says. She teaches courses in consumer behavior, marketing strategy and nonprofit marketing at UWM’s Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, and also serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Research, one of the top three journals in the marketing field.


###
A member of the UWM faculty since 1990, Peracchio received her Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University. She was one of two Roger L. Fitzsimonds Scholars in the Lubar School of Business for 2004-06. She has advised many organizations on marketing issues, including Hormel Foods, S.C. Johnson and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum of Milwaukee.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    USAP PAETE Forum Index -> Science Lessons Forum All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group