Reading Food Labels Helps to Prevent Obesity

Reading Food Labels Helps to Prevent Obesity

We believe in reading food labels at Naturally Savvy – this is why we wrote Unjunk Your Junk Food.

The results of a recently published study links reading nutrition labels with preventing obesity. The international team of researchers, headed by the University of Santiago de Compostela, looked at data taken from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers found that reading nutrition labels lowers the average body mass index for women by 1.49 points. This translates into 8.6 pounds less for an American woman who is 162 pounds and 5.3 feet tall. For men the results are far less.

The abstract for the study states that nutrition labels "play a role in reducing obesity among users of nutrition labels, notably among women." The abstract, and the study itself, makes clear that nutrition labels by themselves will not solve the obesity problem in the U.S. but are a tool to reduce obesity. As the abstract declares, "These findings imply that health education campaigns can employ nutritional labels as one of the instruments for reducing obesity."

Read more about obesity

"Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in modern day USA," says María Loureiro lead author of the study. Loureiro points out that from 2009 to 2010 over a third (37 percent) of adults in the U.S. were obese, and 17 percent of children and adolescents.

The study can be used "as a mechanism to prevent obesity," Loureiro says. "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 labeling on menus at restaurants and other public establishments for the benefit of those who usually eat out."

In California, chain restaurants are required to provide calorie information for each menu item. Signed into law in 2008 by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the law went into effect in the beginning of 2010. Given that California is the most populous state, perhaps other states will follow suit.

Read more about Chipotle labeling GMOs

Read more articles:

7 Scary Food Additives to Avoid

My Journey to GMO-Free and Why It's SO Important

Label Loophole: Why Trans Fat-Free Foods Are Often Far From It

Photo Credit: cote

Leave a Comment
Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches. Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books.