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.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.