Understanding the role of media and food labels to disseminate food related information in Lebanon
Today's consumers are becoming more aware of what they consume and the implications that a proper diet can have for their health. This work aimed to understand how Lebanese people get information about foods, and which communication media they consider the most appropriate. Also, the attitudes toward food labelling were assessed. This was a cross-sectional study undertaken by means of a questionnaire survey on a sample of 258 Lebanese participants. Data analysis used statistical tools such as
... test and ANOVA with post hoc to test possible group differences or Cronbach's alpha to assess internal scale reliability. The results showed that radio was the first choice as a media tool used by Lebanese people for gathering food information (29.1%), followed by hospitals (23.3%), and the participants also considered that these are the most appropriate means to communicate information (28.3 and 22.5%, respectively). Regarding the Lebanese behaviour on nutrition labelling, nearly half of the participants (44.6%) very frequently or always check the food labels but some showed no interest in the components and the fibres they contain. Reliability analysis showed that the items used to assess the food labelling scale have a very high internal consistency (α = 0.847). So, the Lebanese people tend to rely on radio for information about food and the labels are considered as important source of information as well. Nevertheless, Lebanese don't consult the nutritional composition as often as desirable in order to adjust their purchases or compare to different items, aimed at healthier food choices. So in order to inform Lebanese people about related food rich in fibres and to instigate their purchasing intentions, the producing companies must rely on marketing campaigns through radio and on labels not just the information in nutritional composition.