Calorie-labelling in catering outlets: acceptability and impacts on food sales

Nikolaou, C. K., Lean, M. E.J. and Hankey, C. R. (2014) Calorie-labelling in catering outlets: acceptability and impacts on food sales. Preventive Medicine, 67, pp. 160-165. (doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.027)

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Abstract

Objective: Obesity is the biggest challenge facing preventive medicine. Calorie-labelling has been suggested as a way of changing the architecture of an ‘obesogenic’ environment without limiting consumer choice. This study examined the effect of calorie-labelling on sales of food items at catering outlets on a city-centre university campus.<p></p> Methods: Sales data were collected for two consecutive months in 2013 on three UK university sites (two with calorie-labelling during second month, one control) and analysed with chi-square ‘Goodness-of-Fit’ tests. A questionnaire seeking consumers' views and use of the calorie-labelling was administered and analysed at group-level with chi-square tests.<p></p> Results: In intervention vs control sites, total sales of all labelled items fell significantly (− 17% vs − 2%, p < 0.001) for the month with calorie-labelling. Calorie-labelling was associated with substantially reduced sales of high-calorie labelled items, without any compensatory changes in unlabelled alternative items. Among 1166 student- and 646 staff-respondents, 56% reported using the calorie-labels, 97% of them to make lower-calorie choices. More females (63%) than males (40%) reported being influenced by calorie-labels when choosing foods (p = 0.01).<p></p> Conclusions: This study provides evidence, beyond that from single-meal exposures, for the acceptability of meal calorie-labelling and its potential as an effective low-cost anti-obesity measure.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lean, Professor Michael and Nikolaou, Miss Charoula-Konsta and Hankey, Dr Catherine
Authors: Nikolaou, C. K., Lean, M. E.J., and Hankey, C. R.
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:Preventive Medicine
Publisher:Elsevier BV
ISSN:0091-7435
ISSN (Online):1096-0260

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