Via Philebrity comes news that Philadelphians aren’t really paying attention to calorie counts at the big restaurant chains where such notifications are required. HealthDay reports: “In a poll of 2,000 Philadelphia fast-food customers, aged 18 to 64, few used the information, even if they noticed it, said study author Brian Elbel, an assistant professor of population health and health policy at the NYU School of Medicine.”
Elbel’s team collected receipts from customers at McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants and asked them a series of questions. These included how often they visited fast-food restaurants, if they noticed the calorie information and if they used it. They did that before and after February 2010, when the Philadelphia calorie-count label law went into effect.
Elbel found no differences in the number of visits or calories purchased after the policy went into effect in Philadelphia. The amount of calories in food purchased and the number of fast-food restaurant visits did not change much at all in either city over time.
One expert not involved with the study said the calorie-label program may need to go further.
“Providing calorie information is not enough,” said Alice Lichtenstein, a distinguished professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University. “If we want people to use the information, we need to raise awareness about its availability and most importantly, educate about its use.”
Calorie information is not enough? Maybe we should try this: