The more you read, the more you lose
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2012 -- A study reveals that shoppers who read labels are thinner than those who do not. The study shows that those who do not read labels, particularly women, weigh over nine pounds heavier than those who do.
The study, which was led by an international team, was based on more than 25,000 observations on health, eating, and shopping habits of US residents. The data was collected to see how often people read labels, and if so, how often.
The lead author, Maria Loureiro of the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, reflects on the study, “First, we analyzed who read the nutritional label when purchasing foods, and then we move to the relationship with their weight.”
These labels inform readers about what is in a product: sugar and protein, for instance, are listed along with calories.
The researchers state, “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.”
The study notes that smokers are less likely to read the nutritional labels. Those who live in cities were found to be more careful with reading food labels. In addition, those who read nutrition labels were also more likely to be people with high school and college education.
Men were less likely to read the labels at 58%, whereas 74%of women were likely to read them.
Loureiro states, “In general, the associated impact is higher among women than men. On average, women who read the nutritional information have a body-mass index [a measurement of body fat based on weight and height] of 1.48 points lower, whereas this difference is just 0.12 points in men."
“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 education, therefore, campaigns and public policy can be designed to promote the use of nutritional labeling on menus at restaurants and other public establishments for the benefit of those who usually eat
The study was published in the journal Agricultural Economics.
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