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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Jun;106(6):917-20.

Consumers may not use or understand calorie labeling in restaurants.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, 2 Colchester Avenue, John Dewey Hall, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


This study was an investigation of the possible utility of calorie labeling legislation in restaurants in community (n=649) and college student (n=316) samples. Only 48% to 66% of participants presently looked at food labels, and 64% to 73% were able to report accurate knowledge of daily caloric needs. Furthermore, 44% to 57% reported that they were not likely to use food label information in restaurants if it were available. Therefore, public education campaigns focused on calorie requirements may need to precede restaurant labeling, and perhaps other possibilities in labeling formats should be considered (eg, defining foods as "low," "moderate," and "high" calorie).

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