Performance Improvement 2000. Food Safety and Nutrition

01/01/2000

Away-From-Home Foods Increasingly Important to Quality of American Diet

The increasing popularity of dining out over the past two decades has raised the proportion of nutrients obtained from away- from-home food sources. Between 1977 and 1995, home foods significantly improved their nutritional quality, more so than away-from-home foods, which typically contained more of the nutrients overconsumed (fat and saturated fat) and less of the nutrients under-consumed (calcium, fiber, and iron) by Americans. Since the trend of eating out frequently is expected to continue, strategies to improve the American diet need to address consumers' food choices when eating out.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Guthrie, JoAnne
202-205-4179

PIC ID: 7294.2

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville, MD

Background Research and Recommendations for the Food Safety Campaign

A survey conducted by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in 1997 revealed that restaurant patrons did not want to be reminded about risks when ordering, found proposed menu labels repulsive, and said they already knew too much to get any benefit from them. To overcome such barriers to information dissemination and to develop a strategic approach to educating consumers about food safety, further research was conducted. This report presents a compendium of evaluations of recent food safety education programs, recent consumer surveys and qualitative consumer research related to food safety issues, epidemiological data on the magnitude and distribution of foodborne illness in the United States, and microbiological/risk assessment analyses of food consumption, handling, and preparation practices that increase or decrease the likelihood of foodborne illness. The report considers information obtained from meetings with experts identifying critical objectives, presents a comprehensive summary of the qualitative and quantitative research on food safety issues, identifies the information needs for developing a strategic approach to consumer education, and summarizes the results of focus groups conducted to meet those needs. Finally, the report encapsulates expert opinions on designing education programs and communication strategies to change food-handling behavior and presents proposals for developing a successful consumer food safety campaign.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Levy, Alan
202-205-9448

PIC ID: 7275

PERFORMER: Sutton Social Marketing
Washington, DC

Changes in Consumers' Knowledge of Food Guide Recommendations, 1990-91 vs 1994-95

This paper was prepared in order to assess people's awareness of specific food group recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid between 1990-91 and 1994-95. Data included individuals who said they were using the main meal planners (from smapling procedure 1989-91) in their households. In 1994-95 the percentage of adults who believed they needed to consume a number of servings daily from each of the five major food groups corresponding to the Food Guide Pyramid varied considerably among food groups. For example, one half to about three-fifths of adults gave an answer that was within the correct range for the vegetable group, yet only 7 percent reported the correct recommendation for the bread, cereal, grains, and pasta group. The findings indicate, that for four of the five food groups, at least 50 percent of adults believe they should consume the number of servings recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid. Previous research indicated that knowledge of serving recommendations is associated with intakes of food groups that more closely match recommendations. Thus, increasing people's knowledge of food group serving recommendations is one strategy for improving diet quality.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Guthrie, JoAnne
202-205-4179

PIC ID: 7294.1

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville, MD

Developmental Research for the FDA Food Safety Consumer Education Campaign on Unpasteurized Juice

This report describes the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) development of information to include warning statements on packaged fruit and vegetable juice products that could contain life-threatening microorganisms. FDA contracted with Macro International to develop and test this information through the use of focus groups and qualitative research. The three focus groups consisted of three target populations: (1) parents of small children; (2) persons over the age of 60; and (3) members of the general public. The objective of the focus groups was to obtain consumer feedback on pasteurization effects and other treatment procedures on fruit and vegetable juices. The comments made by the three focus groups did not differ. Discussions included topics such as product and purchasing decisions, hazards awareness associated with unpasteurized juice, label information, and contents of brochure and warning labels.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Heaton, Alan
202-205-5394

PIC ID: 7081

PERFORMER: Macro International, Inc.
Calverton, MD

Economic Characterization of the Dietary Supplement Industry

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA), under contract with RTI, collected information, on the nature, size, and scope of the dietary supplement (DS) industry. The products that are the focus of this report are based on the definition of dietary supplements in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). They are: (1) vitamins; (2) minerals; (3) herbals and other botanicals; (4) amino acids; (5) dietary substances used to supplement the diet by increasing its total daily intake; and (6) concentrates, metabolites, constituents, extracts, and combinations of these ingredients. Nearly all of the information contained in this report was obtained from secondary data sources. In addition, RTI met with individuals to obtain further information on the industry. As new products are introduced, the range of DS products will continue to grow. Small manufacturers may be unable to serve the larger retailers that are increasingly selling DS products. Sales of these products by mass merchandisers such as Costco and Kmart are increasing and are expected to continue to grow. Consumers seeking consistent quality of products migrate toward particular brand names; the larger manufacturing firms are more likely to have the resources to maintain such quality, and the advertising budgets to establish brand name recognition. Due to rapid growth, the DS industry has attracted attention of Wall Street investors -- the influx of outside investment dollars will help continue the growth of this industry, both by adding new products and by serving additional markets.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Nardinelli, Clark
202-205-8702

PIC ID: 6865.1

PERFORMER: Research Triangle Park
Research Park, NC

Is There Competition Between Breast-Feeding and Maternal Employment?

Theory suggests that the decision to return to employment after childbirth and the decision to breast-feed may be jointly determined. Models of simultaneous equations were estimated for two different aspects of the relationship between maternal employment and breast feeding using 1993-1994 data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Infant Feeding Practices Study. The researchers first explored the simultaneous duration of breast-feeding and work leave following childbirth. It was found that the duration of leave from work significantly affects the duration of breast-feeding, but the effect of breast-feeding on work leave is insignificant. The report estimate models of the daily hours of work and breast-feedings at infant ages 3 months and 6 months postpartum. At both times, the intensity of work effort significantly affects the intensity of breast- feeding, but the reverse is generally not found. Competition clearly exists between work and breast-feeding for many women in the sample.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Fein, Sara, Ph.D.
202-205-5349

PIC ID: 7294.4

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville, MD

The Effects of Education and Information Source on Consumer Awareness of Diet – Disease Relationships

Health-related information provided by the news media is associated with increases in consumer awareness of diet -- disease relationships. This project focuses its awareness analysis on four diet - disease relationships: (1) cancer and fat; (2) heart disease and fat; (3) cancer and fiber; and (4) high blood pressure and sodium between 1984 and 1995 when timing and quantity of information varied across diet - diseases and information sources. This study shows that consumer awareness increased during times of increased news media activity, and decreased during increased time of advertising activity, possibly due to a low level of credence of producer - provided health information. No strong evidence was found to show either media or producer information decreased the difference in awareness between more and less educated individuals.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Levy, Alan
202-205-9448

PIC ID: 7238

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD

The Impact of Health Claims on Consumer Search and Product Evaluation Outcomes: Results from FDA Experimental Data

This report provides the results of a study on the effects of health claims on consumer information search and processing behavior, and discusses the issues surrounding the regulation of health claims on food labels. Health claims on food labels are currently regulated under the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) with implementing rules that were issued in May 1994 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The passage of NLEA was motivated in part by consumers and regulators who were concerned that unregulated health claims might be confusing and deceptive. It has been suggested that limiting the types and number of health claims may be costly; there has also been some evidence that consumers are capable of evaluating information from the Nutrition Facts panel, even when a contradictory health claim is on the front panel. This article introduces experimental data that suggests that the presence of health and nutrient-content claims on food packages will cause consumers to truncate their information search to the front panel of packages. The presence of a claim was associated with a more positive consumer summary judgment of products, and greater weight was given to the information mentioned in claims, than to information in the Nutritional Facts panel.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Levy, Alan
202-205-9448

PIC ID: 7237

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD

What People Know and Do Not Know About Nutrition

This report looks at how much the typical American knows about nutrition, whether the average level of nutrition knowledge has increased, and what implications this has for changing eating habits. Using data from a variety of public and private sources (including the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Health and Diet Survey (HDS)), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Diet and Health Knowledge Survey (DHKS), the Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) Trends Survey, and the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) 1995 Nutrition Trends Survey, the level of nutrition knowledge among American consumers was examined. In general, to develop effective nutrition education and promotion messages, nutritionists need to consider what types of knowledge are most needed and how much knowledge average individuals can reasonably be expected to assimilate. An important step in promoting dietary change is to identify the nutrition-related knowledge and skills most needed by consumers and to develop simplifying tools such as the Food Guide Pyramid or the nutrition label to communicate them.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

FEDERAL CONTACT: Levy, Alan
202-205-9448

PIC ID: 7294.3

PERFORMER: Food and Drug Administration
Rockville MD