Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition, Obesity
The objective of this study is to characterize food products that make front-of-package protein claims. The study will also determine how these protein-labeled products compare nutritionally to similar products without protein claims.
Products with front-of-package protein claims were analyzed using Label Insight, an online product database of label information and product images for over 330,000 foods. Product categories with the greatest proportion of products with protein claims were determined. An assessment of which type of protein claim (e.g. “Good Source of Protein,” “5g of protein per serving”) is present most frequently was performed. Logistic regression was used to predict the types of claims that are made based on the type of product (e.g. yogurt, cereal). Additionally, within those product categories that contain a high proportion of protein-labeled products, a cross-sectional comparison of the calorie, protein, fat, sugar, and sodium content of food products with and without front-of-package protein labels was completed.
Results : Preliminary data reveal that the three food categories with the greatest proportion of protein claims relative to all products in that category are: Dairy, Frozen Food, and Cereal & Breakfast Foods. These categories are comprised of 15.33%, 14.32%, and 13.83% of products with protein claims, respectively. Preliminary results for the nutritional comparisons of cereal using Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that median protein per 100g and median total fat per 100g were both statistically significantly higher in the cereals with protein labels than in the cereal without protein labels, (U=79, 616.5,p < .001 and U=31,186.5, p < .001, respectively).
Our preliminary findings indicate that foods making protein claims are common in multiple product categories and that some nutrients may be higher in those that have a protein label. Ongoing quantitative analyses are further evaluating the extent of these nutritional differences.
Funding Sources : N/A