New calorie-labeling requirements in Obamacare probably won’t cause consumers to choose healthier foods, if New York City is any model.
For six years, the city has required restaurants to post calorie counts prominently so customers can consider them while ordering. Yet a new study released Monday and published in Health Affairs adds to mounting evidence that viewing caloric information doesn’t prompt people to make healthier decisions.
After analyzing receipts and survey responses from thousands of consumers at four fast-food restaurant chains in New York City, New York University School of Medicine researchers found no statistically significant reduction over time in the calorie or nutrition content of the foods they purchased, nor did consumers visit the restaurants less.
“There’s definitely a subset of people who see and use this information, but we’re not seeing any changes at the population level,” researcher Jonathan Cantor told the Washington Examiner.