Previous research on the relationship between diet and health has increased consumer interest in the nutritional content of specific foods. Federal programs, such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and The Food Pyramid, have had similar impacts. A 1994 mail survey of 3,080 Louisiana households in eight rural and urban parishes examined consumer awareness of the nutritional labeling of fresh meats and its importance. Rural respondents placed more emphasis on nutritional labeling than did urban respondents. The respondents also ranked three descriptive terms (lean, extra lean and low fat) for fat content as defined by the USDA. Eighteen percent of households ranked them correctly with white households displaying better ranking capability. These results tend to justify an earlier decision by Congress to implement legislation covering the nutritional labeling of fresh meats.


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