Betty on the News: Calorie Information Doesn’t Curb Fast Food Consumption
Calorie information has only minor impact on what people decide to eat at fast-food restaurants, says a new report
-Margeaux Baulch Klein
In 2008, New York became the first U.S city to require fast food restaurants to post the calorie counts of the food they offered on large, easy-to-read boards inside the restaurants, and it was widely believed that doing so would allow people to make healthier choices.
However, this is not the case, says a new study. When the journal Health Affairs compared the fast-food purchases made in low-income areas of New York to nearby Newark, NJ, which doesn’t require calorie counts to be posted, it found that less than 28 percent of people were influenced by the calorie information when choosing what to eat.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was one of the main supporters behind the calorie-posting law, said yesterday that he believes that the study may have been done too soon after the rule went into effect and before all fast food restaurants were in compliance.
“At least the public has information and that’s the government’s job – to make sure that the public has information,” Bloomberg told reporters on Tuesday, adding, “But once again, this is America and you have a right to eat what you want to eat.” (Washington Post)