Skip to content

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

60% of Diners Use Calorie Labeling When Posted

More women rely on menu's health info than men
Font Size
A
A
A

continued...

Some restaurants voluntarily display the information, Lee-Kwan said, and some jurisdictions -- most notably New York City -- have passed local laws requiring menu labeling.

"Those local requirements could actually increase the menu labeling use in some states," Lee-Kwan said. "If it's not available, you can't use it."

Prior research has shown that many diners underestimate the caloric count of meals when they eat out, the report noted. It's believed that calorie labeling can help people who want to lose weight to order less fattening dishes.

Lee-Kwan and Mills said they're concerned that so many people -- 4 out of 10 in this survey -- still don't use the calorie information to help guide their meal choices.

Although the CDC study didn't address the point, prior research has shown that people who already eat right are more apt to use menu labeling, Mills said.

"I was not surprised that the data is not being universally used," she said. "Those who basically had healthy diets in the past were typically ones who used the nutrition information." This could blunt the impact that menu labeling could have on the obesity epidemic.

More than one-third of American adults is obese, the CDC says.

Marketing and communication strategies that draw attention to the menu labels or highlight particularly healthful options could attract more attention from people who usually ignore nutrition facts, the CDC report said.

"The implication is out there that if the nutrition information is posted and some groups are downright missing it or not using it, there's got to be some way to appeal to their interest and attention," Mills said.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
fat caliper
Tool
 

Special Sections