Washington: Parents become choosy andorder less fatty food for their children if the restaurant`smenu contains calorie information of each item, according to anew study led by an Indian origin scientist.
When they were asked what they would select forthemselves and also for their children as a typical meal,parents who had access to nutrition information chose 102fewer calories on average for their children, compared withthe other group who only knew the price of the items. This reflects a calorie reduction of approximately 20per cent. Notably, there was no difference in calories betweenthe two groups for items the parents would have chosen forthemselves. "Even modest calorie adjustments on a regular basiscan avert weight gain and lead to better health over time,"said Dr Tandon. "We know that fast food consumption is risingalongside alarming rates of child obesity in this country. "These results make me optimistic that if parents aregiven nutritional information at the point of ordering -- andnot on a Web site or tray liner -- they will have the tools tomake healthier, lower-calorie choices for their children." The findings, published online in Pediatrics journal,have suggested that even small changes in behavior that affectenergy balance by about 100 calories per day could avertweight gain in most adults. Many fast-food restaurants don`t provide nutritioninformation at the point of purchase. But restaurants in manyplaces in the US have been asked to make nutritionalinformation be readily available at point-of-ordering in chainrestaurants. Federal menu labeling standards have also beendiscussed as part of health care reform legislation.PTI
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