Calorie-labelling: does it impact on calorie purchase in catering outlets and the views of young adults?

Nikolaou, C.K., Hankey, C.R. and Lean, M.E.J. (2015) Calorie-labelling: does it impact on calorie purchase in catering outlets and the views of young adults? International Journal of Obesity, 39(3), pp. 542-545. (doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.162) (PMID:25174452)

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Calorie-labelling of meals has been suggested as an antiobesity measure, but evidence for impact is scarce. It might have a particular value for young adults, when weight gain is most rapid. A systematic literature review and a meta-analysis was performed to assess the effect of calorie-labelling on calories purchased. Seven studies met the inclusion and quality criteria of which six provided data allowing a meta-analysis. Three reported significant changes, all reductions in calories purchased (−38.1 to −12.4 kcal). Meta-analysis showed no overall effect, −5.8 kcal (95% confidence interval (CI)=−19.4 to 7.8 kcal) but a reduction of −124.5 kcal (95% CI=−150.7 to 113.8 kcal) among those who noticed the calorie-labelling (30–60% of customers). A questionnaire, to gauge views on calorie-labelling, was devised and sent to young adults in higher education: 1440 young adults (mean age 20.3 (s.d.=2.9) years) completed the survey. Nearly half (46%) said they would welcome calorie information in catering settings and on alcoholic drinks. Females opposing to calorie-labelling were heavier to those who did not (64.3 kg vs 61.9 kg, P=0.03; BMI=22.4 kg m−2 vs 21.7 kg m−2, P=0.02). In conclusion, the limited evidence supports a valuable effect from clearly visible calorie-labelling for obesity prevention, and it appears an attractive strategy to many young adults.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lean, Professor Michael and Nikolaou, Miss Charoula-Konsta and Hankey, Dr Catherine
Authors: Nikolaou, C.K., Hankey, C.R., and Lean, M.E.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:International Journal of Obesity
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1476-5497

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