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Determinants of Food Label Use Differ by Sex

Published:February 09, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.12.014

      Abstract

      Although the Nutrition Facts label has been a requirement on food packages for more than 20 years, few studies have conducted comprehensive assessments of food label use. The purpose of this study was to assess the demographic and psychosocial correlates of food label use using a comprehensive approach. A sample of 1,382 males and females (n=573 and n=809, respectively) aged 19 to 70 years was drawn from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The food label Check and Use subscales are the sums of multiple questions on frequency of checking and using each separate component on a Nutrition Facts label. Multiple linear regression was used to assess differences in predictors of Check and Use. Determinants of food label use differed by sex. Women check and use food label components more often and thoroughly than men. Older adults and adults with good diet-quality perception were significant predictors of food label use for both men and women. Race was a significant predictor for men only. Mexican-American and other Hispanic groups check (P=0.03) and use (P=0.01) the food label more frequently than non-Hispanic white men. Men who do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits also check (P<0.01) and use (P=0.01) food labels more frequently than those who receive assistance. The findings of this study could be used to improve nutrition education efforts. It may be beneficial to target men and women separately, as food label use determinants are different.

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      Biography

      K. A. Stran is a graduate teaching assistant and doctoral candidate, Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

      Biography

      L. L. Knol is an associate professor, Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.