Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reading food labels, combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss, study finds

Date:
September 9, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Nutritional science and food marketing has become so sophisticated in recent decades that a trip to the supermarket can require a complete nutritional re-education. The average consumer needs to be on guard against preservatives, added fat, colorings, and calories, false advertising, and sophisticated but misleading labels. Although guidelines for the information of food labels have gotten a bad rap in recent years, a new study suggests that observing them may lead to weight loss, especially for women entering their middle years.

Nutritional science and food marketing has become so sophisticated in recent decades that a trip to the supermarket can require a complete nutritional re-education. The average consumer needs to be on guard against preservatives, added fat, colorings, and calories, false advertising, and sophisticated but misleading labels.

Although guidelines for the information of food labels have gotten a bad rap in recent years, a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs suggests that observing them may lead to weight loss, especially for women entering their middle years. The study was authored by Bidisha Mandal, PhD, an assistant professor at the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University.

Using information on whether consumers read food labels the first time they buy a product, the study's author found that people who observe the labels and do not exercise display a slightly greater likelihood of weight loss than those who do exercise but do not pay attention to food labels. By simply adding an exercise routine to their lifestyle regular food label readers can increase their changes of losing weight. Women between the ages of 37-50 years are more likely to read food labels than men, and are therefore more likely to lose weight, according to the study.

Previous research has focused on food marketing and behaviour but has not followed related weight loss over time in this middle-aged demographic group. The data for this study was taken from a National Longitudinal Survey of Youth compiled from 2002-2006. The survey began in 1979 with over 12,000 male and female participants born in the years 1957-1964.

Over fifty percent of participants reported that they were trying to lose or control weight. Of these participants, almost seventy percent were obese or overweight. Almost fifty percent were actively reading food labels on their first time purchase and slightly more than twenty-five percent were actively participating in vigorous exercise. Overall, older individuals are less likely to lose weight by reading food labels, and general participation in vigorous exercise drops off after age forty-five.

Additionally, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), enacted in 1994, requires all food manufactures to present essential nutrient and ingredient information on food packages. According to the recently-passed health care reform bill there will be easier access to nutritional information at restaurants, retail food establishments and vending machines. Combined with these new findings, it is likely that this measure will be useful to those who want to lose weight and read food labels to make well-informed decision regarding their diets in and outside their homes.

Weight loss programs and plans would do well in augmenting their client's weight loss goals with the recommended use of food labels, in order to maintain a healthy weight. This is particularly important as people enter middle age and are at a risk for heart disease, obesity-related diabetes, cancer and dementia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bidisha Mandal. Use of Food Labels as a Weight Loss Behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2010.01181.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Reading food labels, combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908122040.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, September 9). Reading food labels, combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908122040.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Reading food labels, combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908122040.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins