Caloric labeling on menu items in college and university dormitories may have little impact on the choices students make. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that placing nutritional information on fast-food menus has little impact on diners' choices.
"Although it is important to inform consumers about the nutritional characteristics of the food offered, providing nutrition information in less healthy food environments such as fast-food restaurants is unlikely to alter consumers' food choices," wrote Christine Hoefkens and Wim Verbeke, two of the study's authors, Reuters reported.
The researchers had 224 students at Ghent University in Belgium log their diets for a period of several days. Thereafter, they posted information rating the healthiness of meals. Six months later, the participants again logged their meals, indicating the posted nutritional guides had no impact on their choices. The findings did not surprise researchers.
The Food and Drug Administration is set to roll out caloric labeling at fast food restaurant chains with more than 20 locations. However, the move has its critics, who claim labeling the menus will have little impact on consumers and will instead cost those smaller businesses significant capital.