Calorie labeling on menus are ineffective in lowering consumption of junk food?
Calorie labeling on fast food before was considered as one of the ways to change consumers eating habits to be healthier. But in fact, the calorie information available on menus and food labels can not change the habit of eating junk food.
A study conducted by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University found that the calorie information and recommendation does not affect the consumption behavior of customers of fast food restaurants. The results were found after observing the behavior of 1,121 customers in New York City McDonalds.
Participants were divided into three groups. The first group got information about the calories they should consume. Other groups get a guide of calories per serving, while the third group did not receive any information.
The result, researchers found no difference in the behavior of the three groups. Provided information and the number of calories and eating guide can not inspire people to choose a healthier diet or change their eating habits. Still many people are eating more calories than the recommendations given to them.
“There is great hope that providing calorie labels on menus can help people change their eating habits to be healthier. Unfortunately, this approach seems not to be a lot of help,” said lead researcher Julie Downs, as reported by the NY Daily News (18/07).
It seems researchers must find other ways to encourage people to switch to healthier foods and reduce consumption of fast food. The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health.