Reading the Nutritional Information on Food Labels Among Teachers with and without Hypertension in Brazil

Fábio Montagna Sekiyama, Renne Rodrigues, Arthur Eumann Mesas, Alberto Durán González, Selma Maffei de Andrade

Abstract


Background: To examine the associations among nutritional label use, medically diagnosed hypertension, and sociodemographic factors among teachers.

Methods: A cross‑sectional study of elementary and secondary school teachers in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil, was conducted. Data regarding
sociodemographic variables, hypertension diagnosis, and the reading of nutritional information on food/beverage labels were collected in 2012–2013. Associations were analyzed using Chi‑square test
or Fisher’s exact test, and multivariate binary logistic regression models were used to adjust for possible confounders; odds ratios (ORs), 95% confdence intervals (CIs), and adjusted P values were
calculated.

Results: Of the 978 teachers interviewed, 15% were diagnosed with hypertension, and 62.5% read nutritional information in the 12 months prior to the survey (41% frequently or always). No differences were found between teachers with and without hypertension with regard to
frequent reading (frequently/always) of nutritional labels. The frequent use of nutritional labels was signifcantly associated with female sex (OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.04–1.85) and the highest monthly family income level (OR = 1.82; 95% CI = 1.07–3.11). Teachers with hypertension reported
checking for sodium more frequently than those without (adjusted P value = 0.040). Medical advice (adjusted P value <0.001) and choosing healthier foods (adjusted P value = 0.002) were the major reasons for reading labels provided by teachers with and without hypertension, respectively.

Conclusions: Checking for sodium values on nutritional labels was signifcantly higher among teachers with hypertension, which most likely results from medical advice, and was the major reported reason for reading these labels.

Keywords: Food labels, hypertension, nutritional information


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