Calorie information on menus does not change consumer choices

Washington: Calorie count labels do not lead to better food choices among consumers, a new study has found.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers recently put menu labels to the test by investigating whether providing diners with recommended calorie intake information along with the menu items caloric content would improve their food choices.

The study showed that recommended calorie intake information did not help consumers use menu labelling more effectively.

"There have been high hopes that menu labelling could be a key tool to help combat high obesity levels in this country, and many people do appreciate having that information available," study lead author Julie Downs, associate research professor of social and decision sciences in CMU`s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said.

"Unfortunately, this approach doesn`t appear to be helping to reduce consumption very much, even when we give consumers what policymakers thought might help: some guidance for how many calories they should be eating," she said.

The study is published in the American Journal of Public Health.