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60% of Diners Use Calorie Labeling When Posted

More women rely on menu's health info than men

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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.

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