Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People who read food labels stay thinner, study finds

Date:
September 13, 2012
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
An international team of scientists has found that reading the labels on food products is linked to obesity prevention, especially in women. According to the study which used data from the U.S., female consumers who consult food labels weigh nearly 4 kilograms less.

An international team of scientists headed from the University of Santiago de Compostela has found that reading the labels on food products is linked to obesity prevention, especially in women. According to the study which used data from the United States, female consumers who consult food labels weigh nearly 4 kilograms less.

Related Articles


Along with the Universities of Tennessee, Arkansas (USA) and the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Finance Research, the University of Santiago de Compostela has participated in a study on the relationship between reading the food label and obesity.

The results indicated that the body mass index of those consumers who read that label is 1.49 points lower than those who never consider such information when doing their food shopping. This translates as a reduction of 3.91 kg for an American woman measuring 1.62 cm and weighing 74 kg.

The data was taken from the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC -- http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm). Some 25,640 observations were collected on health and eating and shopping habits. These included various questions on whether participants read the nutritional information in supermarkets and how often.

"First we analysed which was the profile of those who read the nutritional label when purchasing foods, and then we moved on to the relationship with their weight," says Marνa Loureiro, lead author of the study published in the journal Agricultural Economics.

"Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in modern day USA," outlines the researcher. "The number of overweight or obese adults has risen over the years. From 2009 to 2010, more than a third (nearly 37%) of the adult population in this country were obese and in children and adolescents this figure rises to 17%.

In terms of distribution, the highest obesity prevalence was recorded amongst the non-Latin black population (49.5%), Mexican Americans (40.4%), Latins (39.1%) and the non-Latin white population (34.3%), according to 2010 CDC data.

Greater effect on urban white women

The team found very significant differences between consumers that read labels and those that do not. On the one hand, the study shows that the smoking population pays much less attention to this information. According to the researcher, "their lifestyle involves less healthy habits and as a consequence, it could be the case that they are not so worried about the nutritional content of the food they eat, according to our results."

Furthermore, the city-dwelling population (49% of the sample) takes nutritional information into account the most. This is also the case for those with high school education (40% of those surveyed) and universities studies (17% of the total sample).

According to sex, 58% of men either habitually or always read the information contained within nutritional labels. However, this figure stands at 74% for women.

"In general, the associated impact is higher amongst women than men," adds the researcher. On average, women who read the nutritional information have a body mass index of 1.48 points lower, whereas this difference is just 0.12 points in men.

The study also touches on significant ethnic differences. In this sense, the white female consumers see the greatest reduction in the body mass of around 1.76 points.

"We know that this information can be used as a mechanism to prevent obesity. We have seen that those who read food labels are those who live in urban areas, those with high school and high education. As we would hope therefore, campaigns and public policy can be designed to promote the use of nutritional labelling on menus at restaurants and other public establishments for the benefit of those who usually eat out," concludes Loureiro.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Maria L. Loureiro, Steven T. Yen, Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr. The effects of nutritional labels on obesity. Agricultural Economics, 2012; 43 (3): 333 DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2012.00586.x

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "People who read food labels stay thinner, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913084813.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2012, September 13). People who read food labels stay thinner, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913084813.htm
Plataforma SINC. "People who read food labels stay thinner, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120913084813.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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