You are what you eat -- as long as you know what you’re eating
A new study suggests that women who read the labels on their food product are likely to be slimmer.
In the same week that McDonalds announced it would be adding calorie to menus across America, the habits of more than 25,000 shoppers were profiled by researchers examining the relationship between reading food labels and obesity.
The international study indicated consumers who paid attention to dietary information were nine pounds lighter that those who ignored labels.
Some 25,640 observations were collected on health, eating and shopping habits.
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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," explained María Loureiro, lead author of the study published in the Agricultural Economics journal, in a statement.
"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.
“We have also seen that those who read food labels are those who live in urban areas, those with high school and high education," she concludes.