UPenn PRC Director, Karen Glanz, PhD, and Wharton marketing professor, Jason Riis discussed the new Federal food labeling guidelines on the June 13, 2016 edition of Knowledge@Wharton.

Observing that past labeling revisions often were driven by a single concern, such as trans fats or sugar, Glanz sees the shift towards a more comprehensive approach to portion sizes and total calorie intake as beneficial . “If these labels can nudge things in that direction and/or nudge the industry to reformulate the foods that will be less high-calorie, then that could move things without necessarily depending on people’s conscious decision-making,” she said.

“That all hinges on whether people actually read it and understand it, and whether it is easy to see and digest,” Glanz said. Displaying the nutrition information on the front of packs ensures that “consumers don’t have to turn the pack around to see that, or bring out their reading glasses,”