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28 February 2024

Over half of residents don’t understand food nutritional labels

By Staff

More than half of the UAE consumers are not fully able to understand nutritional labels while buying the food stuff from the hypermarkets for daily use, said a study released on Wednesday.

Nearly 47 per cent of UAE residents are confident in deciphering the data printing on food labels while the rest are not, the research group Nielsen said.

While Saudi Arabian consumers are much less comfortable with food labels, as only 36 percent understand most of the information, it said.

In the Middle East and Africa, the survey results found that nearly 38 per cent of people believe that they have “about the right weight” while 31 per cent consider themselves “a little overweight.” Just four per cent of people think themselves “very overweight.”

However, 15 per cent of people believe that they are “underweight.”

Among the Middle East and African markets in the survey, South Africans are the most confident dealing with nutritional labels, with over half (53%) largely familiar with reading the data.

Respondents in the Middle East and Africa are slightly less explicit in their beliefs about calories and fast food menus.

Only 28 per cent say calories should always be listed at fast food establishments and 55 percent believe the information should only sometimes be on menus.

Globally, more than half (53 per cent) of consumers around the world say they are overweight — up from 50 per cent three years ago. Roughly one-third consider themselves just the right weight, which is down from 40 percent in 2008 and one-in-10 believe they are underweight.

New findings from a Nielsen survey of more than 25,000 online respondents from 56 countries around the world reveal how consumers are battling the bulge and how food producers and marketers can help fight the good fight against obesity.