Posted calorie counts don’t have the desired effect

Written By Scott Joseph On October 6, 2009

When people know how many calories are in the food they order…more?

A study of New York City’s law requiring restaurant chains to post calorie counts for menu items shows thenurition labelnutrition label ordinance has not encouraged people to consume fewer calories. The study, which is due out today and which was previewed in a story in Tuesday’s New York Times, suggests people are driven more by hunger and cost than by rationale.

“It found that about half the customers noticed the calorie counts, which were prominently posted on menu boards. About 28 percent of those who noticed them said the information had influenced their ordering, and 9 out of 10 of those said they had made healthier choices as a result.

But when the researchers checked receipts afterward, they found that people had, in fact, ordered slightly more calories than the typical customer had before the labeling law went into effect, in July 2008.”

Follow this link to read the Times’ story.

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