|Home > The Effects of Food Labeling and Dietary Guidance on Nutrition in the United States|
Food label regulations, dietary guidance, and nutrition education have continually evolved to address emerging health and nutrition concerns in the United States. Using the most recently available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008, this study examines the individual characteristics associated with food label use and estimates the effect of using food labels on nutrient intake. Using an instrumental variables methodology I find that using the Nutrition Facts panel (NFP) decreases total calories consumed per day by 120 kilocalories, just shy of the calories in one can of regular soda, and enough to explain at least an 11 pound difference in steady state body weight. In general I find that, using food labels may reduce CVD risk and facilitate the management of body weight and diet-related health conditions such as hypertension. The results provide evidence that food labels and dietary guidance have helped consumers make healthier choices and that they have the potential to help those who do not yet use these tools.