Kilojoule counts on fast food menus help us make healthier choices

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To investigate the effects on our food choices of including kilojoule counts on fast food menus, US researchers compared sales at 2,329 branches of Taco Bell in US states with and without laws that require labeling between 2007 and 2014. They found labeling led people to reduce their calorie consumption by between 92.4 and 105 kilojoules per purchase in the first two years after labels were added. The results suggest including kilojoule counts on fast food menus helps people make healthier choices when ordering fast food, the authors say.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.46851

Organisation/s: New York University School of Medicine, USA

Funder: This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National
Institutes of Health (grant 5R01HL147474).

Media release

From: JAMA

Menu Labeling and Calories Purchased in Restaurants in a National Fast Food Chain

About The Study: Fewer calories were purchased in restaurants with calorie labels compared with those with no labels, suggesting that consumers are sensitive to calorie information on menu boards, according to the results of this study of 2,329 Mexican-inspired fast food restaurants in six U.S. locations. Associations differed by location. 

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