- When the calories listed were high, it increased the customer’s expectations that they would gain weight and/or get weight-related disease. This may seem obvious, but they compared it to a menu condition with a label of “low calorie” and a menu condition with the ingredients listed. These could have had the same effect, but didn’t.
- When customers discovered that their food had more calories than they expected, they ate less over the course of the day to compensate. So the calorie listings had real effects on behavior, not just perceptions or expectations. This is important because we often see people say they will do the healthy thing “later” but then don’t. With menus that list calories, there is a real behavior change.
- Customers that had intentions to eat right rated the menu items lower when they had higher calories. But other customers didn’t change their ratings at all. But they did eat less later.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Calorie listings on menus work
I just read a some follow-up research to the study I blogged about earlier. These researchers looked at what happens when you put nutritional information on the menu. They found it to be effective in several ways: