How to Communicate Nutritional Information to People: the Attitudes of Chile Population Toward Food

Dario Gregori1, *, Simonetta Ballali2, Maria Gabriella Vecchio2, Luis Marcel Valenzuela Contreras3, Jorge Baeza Correa3, Cecilia Bahamonde Perez4, Jorge Barrera Luengo5, Edgardo Moyano5, Maurizio Arrieta6, Angelo Gutierrez6, Marco Ghidina7, Francesco Giunta8, Marcela Alvina Walker9
1 Unit of Biostatistics, Public Health and Epidemiology, Department of Cardiology, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova,Italy
2 Prochild ONLUS, Trieste, Italy
3 Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, Escuela de Educación Física en Ciencias del Movimiento y Deportes, Santiago de Chile, Chile
4 Facultad de Ciencias Médicas., Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Chile
5 Colegio Santo Domingo Savio, Santiago de Chile, Chile
6 Colegio Camilo Ortuzar Montt, Santiago de Chile, Chile
7 Zeta Research SrL, Trieste, Italy
8 Department of IV Anesthesia, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
9 Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile

© 2013 Gregori et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Unit of Biostatistics, Public Health and Epidemiology, Department of Cardiology, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padova, Via Loredan, 18, 35121 Padova – Italy; Tel: +39 049 8275384; Fax: +39 02 700445089; E-mail:


Nutrition labelling on food products represents an important tool for promoting healthy eating in consumers, and to guarantee transparency and clarity on products' characteristics. In an ideal scenario, consumers' better understanding and subsequently better compliance to nutritional facts would result in healthier choices, which could lead to an improved diet and to a reduction in disease-related risk factors. Research is necessary not only in assessing consumers' preferences towards different labels formats, but also to evaluate their ability to process food labels and their disposition towards new regulations concerning labelling. In our study, an ad-hoc survey was conducted to assess general knowledge and use of different labels and nutrition fact information in a Chilean sample (n= 1280), which was interviewed through a phone survey, performed over a 1-month period, in September 2012. The major part of the interviewees did not habitually read the labels and showed a low interest in paying an additional fee for additional information (89%). The rest was willing to pay an additional fee of the 5%, in order to get information expressed as Kcal per portion in 68% of cases compared to per 100g. Chilean consumers appeared to be interested to nutritional matters and considered nutritional labelling as a proper tool to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Considering the Chilean low knowledge on nutritional labelling, it is necessary to improve nutrition messages and nutrition knowledge among the Chilean population through fast action, especially to help consumers to make health-conscious choices.

Keywords: Chilean population, food choices, food label, nutritional information, survey, willingness to pay.