Agricultural Handbook No. (AH-715) 33 pp

July 1999

Consumer Use of Information: Implications for Food Policy

Government programs that are designed to improve health by changing diets focus on information: education, public information campaigns, and regulation of advertising and labeling. Research from several social science disciplines offers insights for public dissemination and regulation of nutrition information. A review of selected literature in economics, nutrition education, and marketing highlights several research themes. These are the need to motivate consumers to use nutrition information, the value consumers place on time, the possibility that information can change the effects of income on food choices, and the value of enhanced life and health from improved nutrition.

Keywords: nutrition education, economics of information, unfolding, benefit/cost, labeling, NLEA, FTC, USDA, FSIS, FDA, advertising, food, consumer

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