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Posting Calorie Counts In Fast-Food Restaurants Doesn’t Change Eating Habits

November 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act mandated that restaurant chains with more than 20 locations nationwide post the calorie content of all regular food and drink items on their menus. The idea, of course, was to encourage healthier food choices. Is the strategy working? Not according to a study by New York University researchers. Posting calorie content does not change purchasing habits or decrease the number of calories customers consume, especially among lower-income and less-educated consumers. The researchers said “more robust interventional policies” should be considered in neighborhoods where obesity is most prevalent.
Brian Elbel et al., "Mandatory Calorie Postings at Fast-Food Chains Do Not Influence Food Choice", News release, study presented at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting, November 15, 2013, © Elbel et al.
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