Anything Is Possible Fitness

People unswayed by calorie counts in fast food restaurants: study

I was in a restaurant the other day and on the menu there were calorie counts next to each item. I don’t know about you, but every time I see those I am amazed at just how many calories we consume by eating restaurant food – and I’m not even talking about fast food. This was a nice, mid-level family type restaurant with supposedly healthy options as well, but on closer inspection even the salad choices were pushing 1000 calories.

Personally, I’ve lost track of the number of times I changed my order, left and went to another establishment or simply ordered a plain iced tea because of the calorie counts. Apparently I am in the minority here, because according to this study most people are undeterred by the 2000 calorie entrees and 1000 calorie salads in seemingly every restaurant in the country.

While the high calorie counts of artery-clogging fast foods are often printed right in front of our eyes, most people ignore them and go ahead and order their burgers and fries anyway, a new study finds. New York University School of Medicine polled 2,000 Philadelphia fast food customers, aged 18 to 64, finding that few paid attention to calorie counts on menus, HeathDay reports.

Study author Brian Elbel, an assistant professor of population health and health policy, presented his findings Friday at the Obesity Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta. The research is published in the November issue of the journal Obesity.

Findings showed no difference in how often people ate at fast food restaurants or the amount of calories they consumed before and after the policy went into effect in Philadelphia, HealthDay reports.

Elbel led a separate 2011 study with similar findings, but this study examined 427 parents and teenagers in low income areas of New York City and Newark, New Jersey, before mandatory menu labeling began in 2008 and after. While people noticed the labels, those labels didn’t have much effect on their orders at the counter, the findings showed. That study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.

I would be very curious to hear how you chime in on this subject. Are you at all influenced by these restaurant calorie counts? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “completely influenced” where do you rank? Please share, and let’s get our own study findings.

To read the entire article:

Submit to redditShare on Tumblr

About Rick Binder, CFT, CES

Rick Binder, CFT, CES is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer in San Diego, CA. In addition he is an NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, a Certified TRX Instructor and he holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Hapkido Blend. He has trained groups and individuals to improve their level of fitness and self confidence. For information, rates or to schedule training sessions you can reach him directly at 818-324-0462 or at