Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have called for intensive education on nutrition labels to promote healthy living among the population.

The call was made necessary by the result of a study by the department that concluded that most students do not understand the nutritional information on manufactured products.

In addition to indicating the nutritional composition of a product, the nutritional label serves as the basis for other characteristics such as front-of-package labeling (FOPL) – to show consumers which products contain too much sugar, total fats, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.

The study included in the Ghana Science Association’s Abstract Book therefore aimed to evaluate a nutritional education intervention and measure its impact on understanding the information in nutrition labeling.

144 students between the ages of 20 and 25 from three training colleges in the municipality of Sefwi Wiawso in the western region of Ghana took part in the study.

“The participants studied nursing, education and nutrition,” the paper says.

Students’ knowledge was assessed using terminology and assessing the nutritional quality of products based on information from the sample fact labels.

Their knowledge was below the ideal level.

“The baseline rating of their understanding of nutritional information information gave an average score of 4.35 + 2.481, which is below average,” said lead researcher Regina Turkson.

However, the interventional study showed a significant improvement after teaching participants to read the label.

“The mean after the intervention of 9.72 + 1.334 was above average,” they noted.