An Easy Way To Cut Calories
Choosing restaurants that list calorie counts on their menus can help you cut back on consumption. That news comes from a Cornell University study showing that restaurant consumers eliminated three percent of the calories in their meals when counts were posted on menus compared to diners whose menus didn’t list calorie counts. While the caloric reduction was statistically significant, this strategy shaved off only about 45 calories per meal, the researchers reported. They also found that their study subjects cut back on calories in their appetizers and main courses but not on their drinks and desserts. In response to the ongoing obesity epidemic, many cities, counties and states now mandate that restaurants include calorie counts on their menus, and as of May of this year (2018) nationwide chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets are required to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. To find out how these laws affect consumer behavior, the Cornell researchers gathered information from 5,550 diners at two full-service restaurants. They found that support for listing the calorie counts increased by 10 percent among diners whose menus contained the calorie counts.
John Cawley et al, “The Impact of Information Disclosure on Consumer Behavior: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment of Calorie Labels on Restaurant Menus.” NBER Working Paper No. 24889, August 2018 DOI: 10.3386/w24889
Also in this week’s bulletin:
- The Anti-Inflammatory Eating Plan: A Life-Saving Diet
- Can Cosmetics Be Unhealthy?
- Recipe: Polenta Triangles With Roasted Bell Peppers