Only 15% Use Calorie Info at NYC Fast Food Chains:
TUESDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one-sixth of
fast food restaurant customers in New York City use calorie
information provided on menus and menu boards, but they do tend to
buy food with fewer calories, a new study shows.
Under a law introduced by the city in 2008, chain restaurants
with 15 or more locations nationally must provide consumers with
For this study, researchers analyzed survey data collected from
7,309 adult customers in 2007 and 8,489 customers in 2009. The
surveys were conducted during lunchtime hours at 168 randomly
selected locations of the top 11 fast food chains in the city.
Between 2007 and 2009, there was no overall decline in the
amount of calories in foods bought by customers. But there were
significant reductions at three major fast food chains. Average
calories per purchase fell by 5.3 percent at McDonalds, by 6.4
percent at KFC, and by 14.4 percent at Au Bon Pain. Together, these
three chains accounted for 42 percent of all customers in the
But the researchers also found that average calories per
purchase increased by 17.8 percent at Subway, where large portions
were heavily promoted.
Overall, 15 percent of the consumers in the study said they used
the calorie information and, on average, these people purchased 106
fewer kilocalories than those who did not see or use the calorie
information at the fast food outlets.
The study was published in the July 27 online edition of the
Nutrition labeling is a step forward in fighting growing rates
of obesity in many western nations, but changes in the food supply
must follow, Dr. Susan Jebb, of the MRC Human Nutrition Research
Center in Cambridge, U.K., noted in an accompanying editorial.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers
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