Nutrition Label Use Is Related to Chronic Conditions among Mexicans: Data from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey 2016

Published:October 01, 2019DOI:



      Non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, can be prevented and treated through a balanced nutrient-rich diet. Nutrition labels have been recognized as crucial to preventing obesity and non-communicable diseases through a healthier diet.


      Our aim was to examine the association between nutrition label use and chronic conditions (overweight, obesity, previously diagnosed diabetes, and hypertension) among an adult Mexican population.


      This was a cross-sectional study that used data from the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey of 2016 (ENSANUT MC 2016).


      The participants were 5,013 adults aged 20 to 70 years old. Older adults (>70 years), illiterate participants, pregnant women, and participants with implausible blood pressure data were excluded from the sample. The survey was conducted from May to August 2016 in the participants’ households.

      Main outcome measures

      We measured chronic conditions (overweight, obesity, previously diagnosed diabetes, and hypertension).

      Statistical analyses performed

      Pearson χ2 test was used to examine the associations among the use of nutrition labels and sociodemographic characteristics and chronic conditions. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between nutrition label use and chronic conditions adjusting for the effect of confounding variables like sex, age, body mass index, education level, marital status, ethnicity, residence area, region, and socioeconomic status.


      From the total sample, 40.9% (95% CI 38.4% to 43.8%) reported using nutrition labeling. Respondents with overweight or obesity were less likely to use nutrition labels (odds ratio 0.74; P<0.05). Participants who self-reported diabetes had significantly lower odds of nutrition label use than participants who did not report to have diabetes (odds ratio 0.66; P<0.05). Participants having 3 chronic conditions had lower odds of nutrition label use (odds ratio 0.34; P<0.01) relative to having zero chronic conditions.


      This study suggests an association between nutrition label use and chronic conditions (obesity and diabetes). These findings demonstrate that people with obesity, diabetes, and a combination of chronic conditions were less likely to use nutrition labels than people without these conditions.


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      C. Nieto is a researcher, Research Center of Nutrition and Health, Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México


      L. Tolentino-Mayo is a researcher, Research Center of Nutrition and Health, Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México


      E. Monterrubio-Flores is a researcher, Research Center of Nutrition and Health, Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México


      C. Medina is a researcher, Research Center of Nutrition and Health, Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México


      S. Barquera is director, Research Center of Nutrition and Health, Mexican National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México


      S. Rincón-Gallardo Patiño is a researcher, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg


      R. Aguirre-Hernández is a professor, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, México