Reading The Nutrition Label Just May Help You Lose Weight
September 13, 2012

Reading The Nutrition Label Just May Help You Lose Weight

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

Did you know that common energy drinks contain Taurine, which is an organic acid found in bull bile? Well, new research indicates reading the label and learning such things might help you shed pounds.

Researchers writing in the journal Agricultural Economics found that people who read nutrition labels are likely to weigh less.

The team collected about 25,640 observations on health and eating and shopping habits, which included various questions on whether participants read the nutritional information in supermarkets and how often.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that consumers who read that label are an average of 1.49 points lower on the body mass index than those who never consider the information when shopping.

"First we analyzed 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," María Loureiro, lead author of the study, said in a press release.

The team found significant differences between consumers that read labels, and those that do not.

The smoking population pays less attention to the information on the label, but because of their bad habit the authors believe the consumers are less worried about the nutritional content of the food they eat.

The city-dwelling population takes nutritional information into account more than any other population.

Fifty-eight percent of men either habitually or always read the information contained within nutritional labels, while 74 percent of women do the same.

Women who read the nutritional information have an average body mass index of 1.48 points lower, whereas men just have an index of 0.12 points lower.

The white female consumers had the greatest reduction in the body mass if they read the label, dropping an average of 1.76 points compared to those who do not read the label.

"We know that this information can be used as a mechanism to prevent obesity," Louriero said. "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."