Consumer Watch: Does calorie counting work?

Print
Email
|

by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

(WHAS11) -- Part of President Obama's health care reform law says if a restaurant chain has more than 20 stores nationwide they've gotta show the calories in their food items. Now that many restaurants are, is there any evidence that it works? Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen takes a look in today's Consumer Watch.

There's a new study that indicates those calorie numbers on the menu don't do a whole lot to change eating habits.  But, telling people how long they have to run on the treadmill to burn off the calories will change habits.

Although  restaurants  now have to show the calories in their food items. In practice, it hasn't led many Americans to make lower-calorie choices; they're still ordering what they want, regardless of the calories listed, but a new approach and new study may provide a different answer.

The study took 300 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30, gave all of them menus showing the same food and drink options. Some of the menus had no nutritional information, some of them showed the calories the food had, and some of them showed the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories in the food. The menus with exercise times led people to order and eat fewer calories.

There was no difference in eating when the calories alone were listed.  To give you an example, a Coke has 139 calories in it and to burn those calories you could do 22 minutes of aerobics, take a 30 minute walk or a 17 minute run or you could just drink a water.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to:  consumerwatch@whas11.com

Print
Email
|