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The effects of nutritional labels on obesity


  • Maria L. Loureiro,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Fundamentos da Análise Económica, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, 15782, A Coruña, Spain
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  • Steven T. Yen,

    1. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4518, USA
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  • Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr

    1. Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
    2. Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Oslo, Norway
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Tel.: 34-881811674; fax: 34-981547134. E-mail address: (M. L. Loureiro)


This study examines the relationship between nutritional label use and obesity using switching regression. Results for treatment effect show that nutritional labels play a role in reducing obesity among users of nutritional labels, notably among women. The average body mass index (BMI) for men who read nutritional labels is 0.12 point lower than men who do not read them, while women who are users of nutritional labels have 1.49 points lower BMI than women who do not read labels. These findings imply that health education campaigns can employ nutritional labels as one of the instruments for reducing obesity.