Objectives: To examine sex differences in the association between food label unawareness and loss of renal function among South Korean diabetic patients aged ≥30 year and determine whether reading food labels when choosing which food products to consume plays a potential role in slowing the progression of renal disease. Methods: Data from the 2016–2017 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used for the analysis. Renal function was determined by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease estimated glomerular filtration rate, and food label unawareness was defined as being unaware of the food label when choosing a food product for consumption. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the association between food label unawareness and loss of renal function among South Korean diabetic patients. Results: Four hundred and eighty-seven diabetic patients (men: 274; women: 213) were enrolled. Loss of renal function was associated with food label unawareness in only male diabetic patients (men: β
= –10.01, standard error (SE) = 5.08, p
= 0.0506; women: β
= –0.30, SE = 5.14, p
= 0.9528). A strong association was found between loss of renal function and food label unawareness among socially isolated male diabetic patients who lived in a one-generational household, did not have a spouse, and ate alone. Conclusion: Cultivating habits of reading food labels and inducing social facilitation may play a potential role in managing loss of renal function among male diabetic patients.
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