Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

12 Examining Mandatory Food Labeling

Alan D. Mathios, Policy Analysis and Management, found that mandatory food labeling influences the sales of high-fat foods. In a study to show how nutrition labels affect consumer choices, Mathios discovered that sales of high-fat salad dressings declined about 5 percent. The study consisted of data of salad dressings purchased before and after the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act mandatory labeling law of 1994. Before the law, high-fat, unlabeled salad dressings accounted for 75 percent of all salad dressings purchased by the least educated shoppers and 50 percent by the most educated shoppers. The results of the study have significant policy implications, since the top causes of death in the U.S. are related to diet.

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