Reading nutrition labels is associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome in Korean adults: The 2007-2008 Korean NHANES

H. T. Kang, J. Y. Shim, Y. J. Lee, J. A. Linton, B. J. Park, H. R. Lee

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Background and aims: Several studies demonstrated that reading nutrition labels was associated with healthier food choices, despite some controversy. This study investigated the association between the use of nutrition labels and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Korean adults. Methods and results: This cross-sectional study included 7756 individuals who participated in the 2007-2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). A self-reported questionnaire was used to determine participant's awareness of nutrition labels. Modified Asian criteria based on a harmonizing definition of MetS were adopted. Individuals in the group that read nutrition labels (the Reading Group) were youngest and leanest, but their daily caloric intake fell between that of the group that did not read nutrition labels (the Non-Reading Group) and the group that did not know about them (the Not-Knowing Group). The prevalence of MetS was 16.8% in the Reading Group, 27.2% in the Non-Reading Group, and 47.3% in the Not-Knowing Group. In comparison to participants in the Reading Group, the odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for MetS in the participants in the Non-Reading Group and Not-Knowing Group were 1.85 (1.60-2.14) and 4.44 (3.79-5.20), respectively, when not adjusted. The relationship between the use of nutrition labels and MetS remained statistically significant even after adjusting for covariates such as age, sex and socioeconomic status including household income and education level [1.27 (1.05-1.53) in the Non-Reading Group and 1.34 (1.05-1.70) in the Not-Knowing Group]. Conclusion: Reading nutrition labels appeared to be associated with a lower prevalence of MetS in a nationally representative sample of Korean adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-882
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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