A new study led by Drexel University demonstrated that customers of full-service, dine-in restaurants use nutritional labeling to help them make healthier food choices.
\”This is the first field-based study of mandatory menu labeling laws that found a sizable overall adjusted improvement in calories between customers who dined at labeled restaurants in comparison with unlabeled restaurants C about 155 fewer calories purchased,\” said Amy Auchincloss, PhD, a helper professor in the Drexel University School of Public Health.
The team discovered that overall, patrons of restaurants with labels purchased food with 151 fewer calories (155 fewer calories when counting beverages), 224 milligrams less sodium and 3.7 less grams of saturated fat compared to customers at restaurants without menu labels.
The study, published online within the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, reported that 80 percent of consumers at labeled restaurants reported seeing labels, and 26 % of customers reported with them when deciding things to order. Those who reported they used labels bought meals with 400 fewer calories (representing a family member difference of 20 percent), 370 milligrams less sodium and 10 grams less saturated fat compared to overall average.
Even so, consumers who used labels still purchased oversized meals. Typically, these meals far exceeded what could be considered “healthy” C highlighting the problem for consumers when dining out. There\’s a have to do more to assist customers to eat sensibly and to encourage portion control, according to the study findings.
Currently, Americans reach least one-third of the calories they consume every day on food prepared abroad. Providing detailed nutritional information on menus and packaged foods is a commonly touted a tactic method to educate consumers and encourage them to make healthier diet.
\”While previous studies have shown mixed impacts of menu labeling in fast food settings, this research shows that nutrition information might be particularly useful in full-service restaurants,\” said Donald F. Schwarz, MD, health commissioner for that City of Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, restaurants using more than 15 locations nationwide are needed legally to list values for calories, sodium, fat and carbohydrates for every item on all printed menus. Menu boards in fast food restaurants must display calories and make other nutritional information available upon request. Philadelphia’s law, enacted this year, is exclusive in requiring not only calories on menus. The law come up with chance to observe whether menu labeling affects what consumers purchase by comparing what happens at multiple locations of a single full-service chain restaurant, outside and inside of city limits.
When the individual Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, menu labeling will expand nationwide. All fast food and full-service restaurant chains with more than 20 locations is going to be required to provide nutritional information in the point of purchase.
The team, including members in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania, assessed whether food purchases at full-service restaurants varied depending on the presence of labeling. To conduct the study, they collected 648 customer surveys and transaction receipts at seven restaurant outlets of 1 large full-service restaurant chain. Two of the outlets had menu labeling, as the other five didn\’t. Differences in calories and nutrients purchased between people who dined at outlets with menu labeling and people who didn\’t were examined, as well as customers’ reported utilization of nutritional information when ordering.
On average, customers purchased food that had approximately 1,600 food calories (kcal) C an overall total that rose to 1,800 calories when also counting beverages. Many people just have around 2,000 calories for an entire day, so just one meal approximated a full day’s price of calories. The purchased meals had an average sodium content of three,200 milligrams, with an average of 35 grams of saturated fats numbers which far exceed the recommended daily limits for a whole day. Recommended daily limits for most people are 2,300 milligrams sodium and 20 grams of saturated fat.
\”When you compare the typical intake using the recommended daily intake, these consumers purchased each of their calories, and more than the recommended sodium and saturated fat in only one meal,\” said Beth Leonberg, an assistant clinical professor and director from the didactic enter in dietetics in Drexel\’s College of Nursing and Health Professions.
\”In to not?exceed recommended intakes during the day, most adults should consume less than 750 calories, 750 milligrams of sodium and eight grams of saturated fat in a single meal.\”
According to the authors, the present efforts don’t go far enough to help consumers to eat sensibly and also to encourage portion control. They believe that educating consumers about menu labeling may further increase the small observed impact on healthier consumer choices.
\”We should also pursue approaches that make the healthy choice the default,\” said Giridhar Mallya, MD, director of policy and planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. \”This might include product reformulation, promoting healthier choices on menus, and offering smaller portion sizes.\”
In contrast, earlier this week, redOrbit reported that researchers from NYU’s Langone Medical Center had released an identical study of menu labeling effects in Philadelphia, discovering that food labels don\’t change purchasing habits or decrease the number of calories those customers consume.
\”What we\’re seeing is the fact that many consumers, particularly vulnerable groups, do not report noticing calorie labeling information and even fewer report using labeling to buy fewer calories,\” says lead study author Dr. Brian Elbel, assistant professor of Population Health and Health Policy at NYU Med school.
\”After labeling began in Philadelphia, about 10 percent of the respondents within our study asserted calorie labels at fast-food chains led to them choosing fewer calories.\”