Association of Frequent Use of Food Labels with Weight Loss Behaviors among Low-Income Reproductive-Age Women

Tabassum H. Laz, Mahbubur Rahman, Abbey B. Berenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine whether frequent use of food labels is associated with weight loss behaviors among low-income reproductive-age women.Methods: A self-administered survey of 1245 women aged 16 to 40 years assessed the frequency of food label use and weight loss behaviors during the past 12 months. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between frequent use of food labels and weight loss behaviors after adjusting for confounders.Results: Overall, 10.4% to 19.6% of women frequently used food labels to obtain information on different sections (ingredient list, nutrient claims, nutrition panel, serving size, or health claims), dietary components (calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium/salt, fiber, sugar, vitamins, or minerals), and food products (desserts, snacks, frozen dinners, cereals, salad dressings, table spreads, or raw/processed meat). Women who used food labels frequently were more likely to engage in healthy weight loss behaviors compared to those who used them infrequently or did not use them at all. For example, the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of “began to exercise/exercised more” for the 3 categories of food label use mentioned above were 2.24 and 1.65–3.04; 2.52 and 1.90–3.32; and 1.85 and 1.36–2.52, respectively. The odds of healthy weight loss behaviors were 2 to 4 times higher when food labels were used frequently to seek information on calories and nutrients such as total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol. However, frequent food label users were also more likely to practice a few unhealthy weight loss behaviors, such as taking diet pills, medicines, herbs, or supplements without a prescription.Conclusions: Frequent use of food labels was associated with increased healthy weight loss behaviors among reproductive-age women, which can be incorporated into obesity preventive strategies with distinct awareness regarding unhealthy weight loss behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • dietary behavior
  • food label use
  • healthy weight loss behavior
  • reproductive-age women
  • unhealthy weight loss behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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