Effect of Warning Labels on Consumer Motivation and Intention to Avoid Consuming Processed Foods

Cristian Adasme-Berríos, Luís Aliaga-Ortega, Berta Schnettler, Manuel Parada, Yocelin Andaur, Constanza Carreño, Germán Lobos, Roberto Jara-Rojas, Rodrigo Valdes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Nutritional warnings (NWs) as a front-of-package label were implemented as a public policy aiding consumers with recognizing processed foods with high levels of critical nutrients (sodium, saturated fats, carbohydrates, and calories). However, in spite of this tool being well positioned in consumer decision making, there is little extant knowledge about the relationship between the message sent by NW, nutritional knowledge, consumer motivation, and the intention to avoid consuming processed foods. To understand these dimensions’ relations, a theoretical model was created and subsequently tested through structural equations. We applied a survey to 807 home food purchasing decision makers. The results show that the direct effect of NW messages raises the intention to avoid processed foods, while eating motivation is negative in its direct effect on the same avoidance intention. However, the message sent by NWs had a mediating effect between the intentions to avoid processed food and eating motivation but showed no such effect on nutritional knowledge. This suggests that the message sent by NWs was able to turn negative eating motivation into positive eating motivation to avoid processed foods. In conclusion, NWs help mitigate eating motivations, as well as boost the intention to avoid processed foods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1547
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • eating motivation
  • food choice
  • front-of-package
  • message
  • nutritional warning labels
  • processed foods


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