Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Sayed Saghaian

Abstract

Obesity, the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and related health problems increase people’s concerns about healthy food consumption. The increased prevalence of obesity is a major concern of societies both in developed and developing countries. Nutrition label usage has been increasing due to the link between diet and health. This study intends to provide a framework for describing profiles of consumers who are more likely to use nutrition labels in USA and Turkey, a developing country with increasing obesity rates in recent years. Empirical results present similarities and differences between consumers’ attributes for food label usage in two countries.

The main contribution of this study is to investigate the relationship between the importance of serving size, while the number of expanded portion sized products in the market is increasing, and rising obesity rates. Ordered probit model analysis is used to identify the effects of demographics, health status and other components of the nutrition facts panel on selected dependent variables.

Better understanding consumers’ responses to nutrition labels may guide consumers and manufacturers to broaden the communication channels through nutrition labels. The findings of this study can provide useful information to policy makers, agribusinesses, manufacturers and marketing professionals.

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