Online Program

Seeking help with weight loss and its association with use of nutrition facts labels to inform food purchasing decisions

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Jennifer Faith, MS, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University - College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Corvallis, OR
Sheryl Thorburn, PhD, MPH, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Introduction: Higher levels of nutrition knowledge have been associated with increased use of food labels to inform food purchasing. Use of food labels, in turn, has been associated with improved dietary patterns, including reducing consumption of added sugars. Health professionals have a potential role in increasing knowledge and use of food labels among individuals wanting to lose weight. Our objective was to examine the association between seeking help for weight loss from health professionals and use of nutrition facts labels when purchasing food. Methods: We analyzed recently released data from the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey, a telephone-based follow-up module of the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Analyses were limited to individuals who tried to lose weight over the past year (n=1745). Weighted multinomial logistic regression analyses were adjusted for sociodemographics and other variables. Results: Compared to consumers who did not seek help with weight loss, those who sought help from health professionals were more likely (AOR = 2.87, CI: 1.55, 5.29) to use nutrition facts labels to make food purchasing decisions “most of the time or always.” The odds of using nutrition facts labels “most of the time or always” were also higher among women (AOR = 1.96, CI: 1.29, 2.97) and those over the age of 50 (AOR = 7.79, CI: 3.96, 15.33). Discussion: Findings suggest that health professionals may have an important role in assisting individuals who are trying to lose weight with using food labels when purchasing food. Future research should examine this association further.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe correlates of using nutrition facts labels when purchasing food among those trying to lose weight. Discuss the possible role of health professionals in relation to consumer use of food labels.

Keyword(s): Providers, Weight Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD student in public health with training in data analysis and experience working with large datasets. I am also a registered dietitian.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.