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19.01.2017 | Ausgabe 6/2017

Maternal and Child Health Journal 6/2017

Does Pregnancy Increase Use and Awareness of Nutrition Information in Food Labels?

Zeitschrift:
Maternal and Child Health Journal > Ausgabe 6/2017
Autoren:
Juhee Kim, Satomi Imai, Holly Mathews

Abstract

Objectives This study aims to examine food label use, specific reading behaviors and the awareness of dietary recommendations among U.S. pregnant women in comparison to non-pregnant women. Methods A cross-sectional data analysis was conducted using a representative national sample of U.S. women aged 16 to 44 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006 (n = 1875). Food label users were defined as woman who used the Nutrition Facts panel when making a food choice in the frequency of always, most of the time, or sometimes. Pregnancy status was assessed in relation to food label use, specific reading behaviors and the awareness of dietary recommendations by conducting hierarchical multivariable logistic regression models including covariates of SES and perceived health and weight variables. Results The prevalence of using food labels at purchase greatly differs by SES, perceived health and weight variables, and awareness of dietary recommendations but not by pregnancy: 68.6% of pregnant and 66.1% of non-pregnant women used food labels in the U.S. However, after controlling for SES and perceived health and weight status, pregnant women are more likely to read food labels than their counterparts (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.07–1.89). Pregnant women were less likely to check cholesterol (OR = 0.58, 95% CI = 0.44–0.77) and calories from fat content (OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.42–0.89), after adjusting for SES variables. Pregnant women may not have a higher awareness of dietary recommendations compared to non-pregnant women in the U.S. Conclusions While pregnancy itself is a factor that appears to encourage the reading of food labels, pregnancy does not encourage positive reading behaviors. The findings suggest a great need for prenatal nutrition education programs in the U.S.

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