Public Health & Policy / November 30, 2015

Prof. Talks Menu Labeling – Better Alternatives?

By Charles Platkin, PhD

This was in the NY Times, written by Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He blogs on health research and policy at The Incidental Economist.

“Policy makers continue to believe that the problem is people’s lack of knowledge that they are wolfing down calorie-rich foods. It is assumed that once Americans know what they are eating, they will eat less, or at least with health in mind. For this reason, many health advocates have called for restaurants to provide people with calorie counts of what they are ordering. Recent mandates mean that by the end of next year, calorie labeling will be required on all menus in chain restaurants and establishments selling food in the United States….”

And finally Prof. Carroll believes that waitstaff might have more influence than menu labels…

may be taking our eye off the ball. By offering us what seems to be a solution, it may prevent us from trying other things that might work better. Previous work in Health Affairs showed that training servers to ask if customers might like to downsize three starchy sides induced up to a third of customers to order and eat 200 fewer calories per meal. More recent work in the journal showed that changing the “prevalence, prominence and default nature of healthy options” on children’s menus led to sustained changes in what people ordered.”

Read more here>>>


Tags:  menu labeling obesity public health

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