Preventing weight gain with calorie-labeling

Nikolaou, C. K., Hankey, C. R. and Lean, M. E. J. (2014) Preventing weight gain with calorie-labeling. Obesity, 22(11), pp. 2277-2283. (doi:10.1002/oby.20885) (PMID:5376394)

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Abstract

Objective: Calorie-labeling has been suggested as an anti-obesity measure but there is no evidence for its effect, to date. Early adulthood is a critical life-cycle period for unwanted weight gain and obesity development. This study examined whether providing calorie information would help young adults to avoid weight gain. Methods: Using a pragmatic interrupted time-series study design, weight changes over 36 weeks were reported among two year-groups, each of 120 young adults, similar in age, gender, and ethnicity, living in fully-catered accommodation. Year 1: subjects were observed without calorie-labeling, apart from a 5-week pilot. Year 2: calorie-labeling was present prominently and consistently at main meals for 30 of the 36 weeks. Results: Mean weight changes over 36 weeks, per protocol, were +3.5 kg (95% CI = 2.8-4.1 kg) (n = 64) in Year 1 and −0.15 kg (95% CI = −0.7-0.3 kg) (n = 87) in Year 2. Weight changes were significantly different between years, for males and females (both P < 0.001). Intention-to-treat analysis showed similar results. Relative Risk for weight gain in Year 2, compared to Year 1, was 0.5 (P < 0·0001). Conclusions: Calorie-labeling was associated with a 3.5 kg less weight gain, representing a low-cost “nudging” approach to combat the rapid weight gain seen in young adults.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lean, Professor Michael and Nikolaou, Miss Charoula-Konsta and Hankey, Dr Catherine
Authors: Nikolaou, C. K., Hankey, C. R., and Lean, M. E. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Obesity
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1930-7381
ISSN (Online):1930-739X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Wiley
First Published:First published in Obesity 22(11):2277-2283
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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