Why the Nutrition Label Fails to Inform Consumers
The Food and Drug Administration recently decided to update the Nutrition Facts panel (NFP). The NFP’s ineffectiveness has led some to abandon information disclosure attempts and instead advocate for more intrusive paternalistic policies such as taxes and bans on certain types of food. The NFP’s failure, however, is due to its poor design rather than to flawed consumer decision-making. Treating the failure of government policies as consumers’ fault rather than design failure absolves policymakers of responsibility for policy failures and prevents them from seeking better, more effective solutions, since they instead fall back on the easy solution of restricting consumer choices.