National prevalence and trends in food labeling awareness, comprehension, usage, and COVID-19 pandemic-related factors in South Korea, 2014-2022.

Choi Y, Kim HJ, Park J, Lee SW, Rahmati M, Koyanagi A, Smith L, Kim MS, López Sánchez GF, Dragioti E, Lee J, Rhee SY, Kim S, Lim H, Yon DK

Sci Rep 14 (1) 2617 [2024-01-31; online 2024-01-31]

Although food labeling on food packages is crucial for promoting a healthy diet, limited research has been conducted on how the COVID-19 pandemic (hereinafter "the pandemic") has affected food labeling awareness. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the changes in trends in food labeling awareness, comprehension, and usage in South Korea during the pandemic. We utilized a nationwide, large-scale, and long-term dataset provided by the Korea Community Health Survey (KCHS) from 2014 to 2022 (total = 1,756,847 participants). This allowed the researchers to assess the long-term trends in the prevalence of food labeling awareness, comprehension, and usage. Furthermore, we investigated the factors associated with awareness specifically related to the pandemic. In total, 1,756,847 adults (54.19% women) participated in this study. The upward slope in overall food labeling awareness became less pronounced and even exhibited a downward slope during the pandemic (βdiff - 1.759; 95% CI - 1.874 to - 1.644). The upward slope in food labeling comprehension and usage became more pronounced during the pandemic (comprehension: βdiff 0.535; 95% CI 0.436-0.634; usage: βdiff 0.693; 95% CI 0.601-0.785). The vulnerability factors associated with lower food labeling awareness during the pandemic included older age, male, obesity, residing in rural areas, lower household income, lower educational level, smoking, and increased alcohol consumption. This study analyzed the 9-year trend in the prevalence of food labeling awareness, comprehension, and usage based on nationally representative data of adults in South Korea from 2014 to 2022. Our findings suggest that personalized nutrition strategies are needed to recognize vulnerable groups with risk factors and improve food labeling awareness among Korean adults during the pandemic.

Category: Other

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38297021

DOI 10.1038/s41598-024-51948-1

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-024-51948-1

pmc: PMC10831073
pii: 10.1038/s41598-024-51948-1

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