Study suggests nutritional labeling on menus may reduce our calorie intake

There is no ‘magic bullet’ to solve the obesity problem, so while calorie labeling may help.

Burger, tomato ketchup
Wall_Food_10087 Credit: Michael Stern

Consuming lots of calories leads to overweight. Moreover, it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers, which are among the leading causes of poor health and premature death. Many studies have shed light on it. They also identified whether putting nutritional labeling on food and non-alcoholic drinks might have an impact on their purchasing or consumption, but their findings have been mixed.

Now a new study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, by the Cochrane scientists analyzed the overall results evaluating the effects of nutritional labels on purchasing and consumption in a systematic review. It suggests, adding calorie labels to menus and alongside restaurants, coffeehouses and cafeterias could diminish the calories that individuals intake.

Scientists looked into the proof to set up whether and by how much healthful labels on food or non-alcoholic beverages influence the amount of nourishment or drink individuals pick, purchase, eat or drink. They considered investigations in which the labels are required to incorporate data on the nutritious or calorie substance of the nourishment or drink.

They excluded those including just logos or interpretative hues to show more beneficial and unhealthiest sustenance. Altogether, the specialists included confirmation from 28 contemplates, of which 11 surveyed the effect of nutritious marking on buying and 17 evaluated the effect of naming on utilization.

The group joined outcomes from three examinations where calorie marks were added to menus or put beside sustenance in eateries, coffeehouses, and cafeterias. For a run of the mill lunch with an admission of 600 calories, for example, a cut of pizza and a soda, naming may lessen the vitality substance of sustenance acquired by around 8% (48 calories). The creators judged the examinations to have potential defects that could have one-sided the outcomes.

combining results from eight studies carried out in artificial or laboratory settings could not show with certainty whether adding labels would have an impact on calories consumed. However, when the studies with potential flaws in their methods were removed, the three remaining studies showed that such labels could reduce calories consumed by about 12% per meal.

Scientists noted that there was still some uncertainty around this effect and that further well-conducted studies are needed to establish the size of the effect with more precision.

The Review’s lead author, Professor Theresa Marteau said, “This evidence suggests that using nutritional labeling could help reduce calorie intake and make a useful impact as part of a wider set of measures aimed at tackling obesity. There is no ‘magic bullet’ to solve the obesity problem, so while calorie labeling may help, other measures to reduce calorie intake are also needed.”

“Some outlets are already providing calorie information to help customers make informed choices about what to purchase. This review should provide policymakers with the confidence to introduce measures to encourage or even require calorie labeling on menus and next to food and non-alcoholic drinks in coffee shops, cafeterias, and restaurants.”

The specialists were not able to achieve firm decisions about the impact of naming on calories acquired from markets or candy machines due to the restricted confirmation accessible. They likewise included that future research would likewise profit by a more various thought of the conceivable more extensive effects of nourishing naming including impacts on those delivering and offering sustenance and in addition shoppers.