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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Dec;25(12):2018-2044. doi: 10.1002/oby.21940. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

A Systematic Review of Calorie Labeling and Modified Calorie Labeling Interventions: Impact on Consumer and Restaurant Behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
2
ChildObesity180, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Department of International Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
4
VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
5
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
6
Department of Population Health, New York University School of Medicine and Wagner School of Public Service, New York, New York, USA.
7
Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
8
Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Evidence on the effects of restaurant calorie labeling on consumer and restaurant behavior is mixed. This paper examined: (1) consumer responses to calorie information alone or compared to modified calorie information and (2) changes in restaurant offerings following or in advance of menu labeling implementation.

METHODS:

Searches were conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, Policy File, and PAIS International to identify restaurant calorie labeling studies through October 1, 2016, that measured calories ordered, consumed, or available for purchase on restaurant menus. The reference lists of calorie labeling articles were also searched.

RESULTS:

Fifty-three studies were included: 18 in real-world restaurants, 9 in cafeterias, and 21 in laboratory or simulation settings. Five examined restaurant offerings.

CONCLUSIONS:

Because of a lack of well-powered studies with strong designs, the degree to which menu labeling encourages lower-calorie purchases and whether that translates to a healthier population are unclear. Although there is limited evidence that menu labeling affects calories purchased at fast-food restaurants, some evidence demonstrates that it lowers calories purchased at certain types of restaurants and in cafeteria settings. The limited data on modified calorie labels find that such labels can encourage lower-calorie purchases but may not differ in effects relative to calorie labels alone.

PMID:
29045080
PMCID:
PMC5752125
DOI:
10.1002/oby.21940
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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