Decisional conflicts impair healthy choices

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Are We Designing Nutrition Labels All Wrong?

Nutrition labels have the best of intentions—to keep us healthy—but they sure don’t have the clearest of formats. Four in 10 North Americans admit to no better than a “partial” understanding of them, according to a recent Nielsen survey. Serving sizes, percentages, grams, daily values—parsing out what it all means requires more math, time, and vitamin analysis than most of us care to apply on an empty stomach in a crowded aisle. With all due respect to riboflavin, there may be a better way. Psychologists Peter Helfer and Thomas Shultz of McGill University in Montreal recently found that the standard U.S. food package label measurably inferior to several alternatives when it came to conveying nutrition information in a timely and effective manner. In a recent issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, they argue that a simple one-number label called NuVal might be a better way to go. ….[READ]

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