In our enduring battle to lose weight and keep it off, most of us are hungry for tips and tricks that will keep us on the sunny side of the bathroom scale. And while there are endless ways to improve your health and fitness, through certain trendy diets and various forms of exercise, there are also a handful of general behaviours that may prove beneficial to our waistlines.
The best part about taking the behaviour route to trimming down? No crunches.
All you have to do to shed nine pounds this year is read the labels of food products before you toss them into your grocery cart — or so suggests a recent European study into the connection between health, eating and consumer habits (via The Daily Mail).
Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain used extensive data related to the shopping, eating and health habits of American consumers for the study.
Here’s what they found: education makes a difference. Men and women who had high school and/or university level educations were more likely to look at nutritional labeling. So does geography: people who live in cities are more likely to read labels than those who don’t. Sex matters too, as the research indicated that women look at food labels more than men, with 58 percent of men admitting they do it, while 74 percent of women do. Moreover, the researchers discovered that those women who regularly read the nutritional label when buying food had less overall body fat. In fact, on average, they weighed nearly nine pounds less than those women who didn’t read the labels.
For the researchers, the study points to a potential aid in curbing rising rates of obesity. The solution, suggests lead researcher Marma Loureiro: an increase in nutritional labeling across the board.
Said Loureiro: “We know that this information can be used as a mechanism to prevent obesity. We have seen that those who read food labels are those who live in urban areas, those with high school and high education. As we would hope therefore, campaigns and public policy can be designed to promote the use of nutritional labelling on menus at restaurants and other public establishments for the benefit of those who usually eat out.”
Do you read food labels while shopping? What are you looking for?