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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2651-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
SNB conceived the study and developed the hypotheses. JAW analyzed the data. SNB and JAW contributed to the interpretation of study findings. SNB drafted the manuscript and all authors contributed to the final draft. SNB is the guarantor. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Little is known about national patterns in the use of fast food and packaged food labels among adults by weight loss strategies and demographic characteristics.
We analyzed the Consumer Behavior Module in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2010 among adults (N = 9,690). For each of the outcome variables – use of packed food and fast food menu labels – multiple logistic regressions were used to adjust for potential differences in population characteristics by weight loss activities and demographic characteristics.
Overall, 69 percent of adults reported they would use fast food information and 76 percent reported using the nutrition facts panel on packaged foods. Adults trying to lose weight had a greater likelihood of reporting use of nutrition information to choose fast foods (OR = 1.72; 95 % CI: 1.29, 2.29) and using the nutrition facts panel on food labels (OR = 1.92; 95 % CI: 1.60, 2.30). Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to report using ingredients lists on packaged foods compared to Whites (White −63 %, Black/Hispanic −68 %, p < 0.05).
Regardless of weight loss activities or demographic characteristics, a majority of adults report they would use fast food nutrition information.