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Calorie labels no deterrent for foodies

lifestyle Updated: Nov 20, 2013 19:23 IST
junk food

The labels on junk food carrying the calorie levels don’t really come in the way while you bite into a juicy burger, or so a recent study suggests. The high calorie counts of artery-clogging fast foods are often printed right in front of our eyes, but most people ignore them and go ahead and order their burgers and fries anyway, the study says.

New York University School of Medicine polled 2,000 Philadelphia fast food customers, aged 18 to 64, finding that few paid attention to calorie counts on menus, HeathDay reports.

The author of this study, Brian Elbel, an assistant professor of population health and health policy, presented his findings at the Obesity Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta recently. The research is published in the November issue of the journal, Obesity. The research team collected customer receipts at popular fast food and burger joints and restaurants, and surveyed customers about how often they ate at fast food restaurants and whether or not they glanced at calorie information. Researchers surveyed customers both before and after February 2010, when the Philadelphia calorie-count label mandate went into effect.

The researchers also conducted a telephone survey of the city’s residents, to gauge how much people paid attention to calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Findings showed no difference in how often people ate at fast food restaurants or the amount of calories they consumed before. The study also revealed that while people noticed the labels, that didn’t have much effect on their orders at the counter.

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