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HealthDay News reports on a study of whether posting calorie counts in fast food restaurants has an effect on what people eat - and the answer seems to be “no.”

According to the story, “For two weeks that summer, Elbel and his team studied the fast-food choices of 349 children and teens, ages 1 to 17, in low-income areas of New York City and Newark, N.J., both before and after calorie labeling was introduced. Newark had no labeling requirement.

“The restaurants were McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Kentucky Fried Chicken. About 90 percent of the customers were ethnic or racial minorities.

“The researchers asked customers as they entered to show them their receipt and to answer a set of questions in return for $2. The customers didn't know before ordering what the researchers were studying.

“Parents of younger children answered questions about their food choices for their kids.

“Fifty-seven percent of teens in the New York sample said they noticed the label, but only 9% considered the information when ordering.

“Teens bought 730 calories per order, on average, before the labeling appeared and 755 after. Parents ordering for their younger children ordered 610 calories before and 595 after -- not enough of a reduction to be significant statistically.

“About 35 percent of the teens said they ate fast food six or more times a week. Nearly three-quarters said taste influenced what they ordered.”
KC's View:
A lot of people will look at the story about calorie postings not working well in certain fast food restaurants in certain neighborhoods, and conclude that such things are not worth trying. But I prefer a different approach...see our next story.