Effects of calorie labelling on macro- and micro-nutrients in main-meal choices made by young adults

Nikolaou, C.K., Hankey, C.R. and Lean, M.E.J. (2016) Effects of calorie labelling on macro- and micro-nutrients in main-meal choices made by young adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(3), pp. 386-392. (doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.175) (PMID:26486302)

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Background/Objectives: There is limited evidence that prominent calorie labelling on out-of-home meals helps consumers reduce calorie intakes and avoid weight gain, but no evidence on its effects on macro- and micro-nutrients. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of prominent calorie labelling on energy, macro- and micro-nutrients. Subjects/Methods: Young adults in a catered residential setting were observed when choosing main meals over three study periods in fixed order in this observational study. Period 1: with calorie labels (20 weeks); period 2: without calorie labels (10 weeks); period 3: with calorie labels plus information on estimated energy requirements (10 weeks). Nutrient contents of meal choices were analysed from food composition tables. Results: Energy, 4 macronutrients and 19 micronutrients levels were derived from 4200 meals chosen by 120 subjects over 40 weeks. Means (s.d. or Median) for key macro- and micro-nutrients were for period 1: energy=658 (94) kcal, fat=31 (8.6) g, saturated fat=10.5 (2.7) g, B12=2.5 (1.7) μg, folate=119 (46.8) μg, vitamin C=80.0 (42) mg, Ca=278 (129) mg, Na=1230 (119) mg, Fe=22 (10) g, Se=19 (10.1) μg, I=34 (10.1) μg, period 2: energy=723 (87) kcal, fat=35 (7.6) g, saturated fat=12 (2.7) g, B12=3.4 (1.7) μg, Folate=182 (13.3) μg, vitamin C=87.0 (49.7) mg, Ca=379 (149) mg, Na=1352 (114) mg, Fe=41.6 (14) g, Se=26 (10.3) μg, I=38.0 (18.4) μg, period 3: energy=578 (109) kcal, fat=27.3 (9.1) g, saturated fat=8.5 (2.7) g, B12=2.2 (0.5) μg, Folate=90 (50.8) μg, vitamin C=75.0 (34) mg, Ca=277 (119) mg, Na=1205 (99) mg, Fe=14.5 (10.9) g, Se=15.0 (10) μg, I=32.0 (18.4) μg. All macro- and micro-nutrients, except for B1, vitamin C, vitamin E and Ca were significantly different between the three periods (P<0.001), but all mean intakes remained above recommended levels. Conclusions: Calorie labelling resulted in reductions in calories, fat and saturated fat contents of the meals chosen, without compromising micronutrient consumptions.

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 > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1476-5640

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