There was an interesting study on misleading labels on food products, carried out by the Duke-UNC USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research (BECR).
It points out that the growing brands of food products try to influence consumer habit by making variety of claims related to their perceived health benefits. As many Americans try to make better food choices, companies have been quick to adopt packaging that makes "low-content" nutrient claims such as "low-fat" or "low-sodium." Because there is no uniformity to what these statements mean, consumers are often left confused and ill informed. According to a new study in the simply making a low-content claim on the label was not a reliable indicator of a product's actual nutritional quality and that these claims may give consumers a false sense of confidence about the healthfulness of their food. For example, a cookie that is marked "low-sugar" may contain less sugar than the "regular" version, but that low-sugar claim doesn't guarantee it contains less sugar than other cookies.
After looking at data that included over 80 million food and beverage purchases from over 40,000 households, the researchers found that 13% of food and 35% of beverage purchases had a low-content claim, and that "low-fat" was the most common claim, followed by "low-calorie," "low-sugar," and "low-sodium." While the data revealed that products with some sort of claim had lower mean energy, total sugar, total fat, and sodium densities, they did not always represent the best nutritional value. The study suggests that because labels only need to make claims relative to other similar foods and not a standard definition of what "low" means, these claims do not offer consumers any real information or give a good indication of the general healthiness of the food.
Engaged in the natural organic formulations for skin care, Herbally Radiant has seen similar labeling tricks played on the consumers with high sounding claims that are unverifiable. There is need, therefore, to make the label information on skin care and cosmetic products transparent to enable consumers to make informed choice.