Use of trans fat information on food labels and its determinants in a multiethnic college student population

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2010 Sep-Oct;42(5):307-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2009.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 16.


Objectives: To examine the correlates of trans fat knowledge and trans fat label use; to examine the influence of trans fat knowledge, trans fat label use, and dietary attitudes on intake of high trans fat food.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: An urban commuter college.

Subjects: Two hundred twenty-two college students.

Variables measured: Trans fat knowledge, food label use, high trans fat food consumption, dietary attitudes, and sociodemographic factors.

Analysis: Chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression analysis assessed relationships between trans fat knowledge, trans fat label use, and consumption of high trans fat food.

Results: Thirty-seven percent of participants reported never using trans fat information on food labels. Males and minority ethnic groups were less likely to report always using trans fat label information and displayed lower trans fat knowledge compared to females and non-Hispanic whites, respectively. Trans fat knowledge and importance of eating a low-fat diet were positively associated with both food label use and use of trans fat information on food labels. Nonuse of food labels and trans fat information on food labels were associated with higher consumption of fried food.

Conclusions and implications: Trans fat education and promotion of food label use is needed in college students, especially in high-risk groups such as males and ethnic minorities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Consumer Health Information / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Food Labeling*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trans Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Trans Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult


  • Trans Fatty Acids