Salud Pública de México

Perception of the use and understanding of nutrition labels among different socioeconomic groups in Mexico: a qualitative study

Claudia Nieto, Jacqueline Alcalde-Rabanal, Carmen Mena, Ángela Carriedo, Simón Barquera


 Objective. To explore the perception of the use and comprehension of the nutrition labeling (GDA, NFT, NS) and claims in packaged foods among different socio economic-status (SES). Materials and methods. This was a qualitative study, 12 focus groups were performed in four cities of Mexico. Participants were recruited outside the supermarkets, which were selected according to SES using Basic Geostatistical Areas. The focus groups had a total of 78 participants. Results. Participants perceived several barriers to the use and understanding of the GDA; like technicalities of the terms used, and the format (small font size and percentages). Claims are mistrusted in general. Participants from the high SES believed that the claims are just a marketing strategy. Conclusion. This study shows the consumers’ difficulties to understand the current nutrition labeling system regardless SES. These data might call attention in order to implement a simpler nutrition labeling system that is understood regardless of SES.

Palabras clave

food labeling; qualitative research; Mexico; front of package labeling; claims; socioeconomic status

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web,, con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 11 de abril de 2019. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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