Study: Posting Nutritional Info on Menus Won't Make People Drop Their Big Macs

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It was a noble effort. Publishing the nutritional value (or lack thereof) of items on restaurant menus was supposed to make people think "Hey, this Triple Baconator Sandwich from Wendy's has 1,360 calories and 91 grams of fat--maybe I should get a salad." Instead, according to a new study by Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and the Seattle-area Public Health Department, people don't really care what the menus say in terms of nutrition. As long as the word "triple" or "extra" is in there somewhere, it's all good.

As the Wall Street Journal reports today, the new study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and followed a 13-month study that compared several TacoTime restaurants--some of which publish nutrition facts on their menus, some of which don't.

Researchers compared seven restaurants within King County to seven located outside of the county--and thus not subject to the new law. They found the law had no statistically significant impact on the amount of calories people purchased.

The findings put into question a national version of the policy that's about to be implemented under new health-care legislation that will require any restaurant with 20 or more stores to publish such facts.

People forget that while Americans do like "facts," they like "bacon" and "burgers" a lot more.

 
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