Objective: Investigate the relationship between use of Nutrition Facts labels on packaged foods and weight-related behaviors. Design: Cross-sectional survey in 2015–2016. Participants: Young adult respondents (n = 1,817; 57% women; average age 31.0 ± 1.6 years) to the Project Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults–IV survey, the fourth wave of a longitudinal cohort study. Variables Measured: Use of Nutrition Facts labels on packaged foods; healthy, unhealthy, and extreme weight control behaviors; intuitive eating; binge eating. Analysis: Linear and logistic regression models were adjusted for age, ethnicity/race, education, income, and weight status. Results: In women, greater Nutrition Facts use was associated with a 23% and 10% greater likelihood of engaging in healthy and unhealthy weight control behaviors, respectively, and a 17% greater chance of engaging in binge eating. In men, greater label use was associated with a 27% and 17% greater likelihood of engaging in healthy and unhealthy weight control behaviors, respectively, and a lower level of intuitive eating. Conclusions and Implications: Professionals advising patients and clients on weight management may consider possible gender differences in response to weight loss and management guidance. Since label use was related to engagement in some unhealthy behaviors in addition to healthy behaviors, it is important to consider how individuals may use labels, particularly those at risk for, or engaging in, disordered eating behaviors. Future research investigating potential relationships between Nutrition Facts use, intuitive eating, and binge eating is needed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Project EAT team and participants. This study was supported by Grant No. R01HL116892 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Neumark-Sztainer). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health. MJC is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services under National Research Service Award in Primary Medical Care Grant No. T32HP22239 (PI: Borowsky). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by, the Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services or the US Government. AFH was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health , Grant No. T32MH082761 .
- binge-eating disorder
- body weight maintenance
- food labeling
- intuitive eating
- weight control behaviors