FYI Daily

New Research Might Shed Light on Why We're Not Shedding Pounds

Last updated:

October 24, 2011
Nutrition label

A new study published by the American Dietetic Association used an eye-tracking device to observe 203 participants who first viewed nutrition labels in different locations on food packages and then indicated whether they would buy the items.

The study mainly confirmed what you might expect -- participants looked more closely at nutrition labels in the center of a package than on either side, and they looked more closely at the top of the nutrition label than at the contents farther down.

The BBC did report one interesting finding -- 33 percent of the participants claimed they looked at the calorie count on the package. According to the eye-tracking device, only 9 percent actually did.

Whether the participants were lying to themselves or to the researchers, one thing is clear: "Consumers have a finite attention span for Nutrition Facts labels," as the researchers put it.

Maybe ignorance is both blissful and delicious.