Women read food labels more than men, says study

Shaun Weston28 May 2013

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Women check and use food label components more often and thoroughly than men, according to a recent study from the University of Alabama and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The study, which looked at a sample of 573 males and 809 females aged 19-70, found that women use the Nutrition Facts label, health claims, ingredient lists and serving sizes more frequently than men when making decisions about food products.

However, men and women who were 51-70 years old had significantly higher rates of checking the labels and then using them, compared with younger participants in the study.

"This isn't a huge surprise," said Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report. "But this reinforces that manufacturers and retailers should make labels, advertising and merchandising clear, concise and easy to read so that people can make informed decisions."

The study also showed that race was a significant predictor of label use for men. Specifically, Hispanic men checked the labels more frequently than Caucasian men.