New Yorkers who used calorie information to order lunch at fast-food chain restaurants bought 106 fewer calories' worth of food than people who didn't see or use the information, says a city health department study.
In March 2008, New York City began requiring chain restaurants to post calories on menu boards. Researchers surveyed more than 10,000 lunch customers at 275 fast-food and coffee-chain outlets in spring 2007 and surveyed another 12,000 this spring, USA Today reported.
The study found that 56 percent of customers saw the calorie information and 15 percent used it. Those who used the calorie information bought an average of 754 calories' worth of food, compared with 860 calories' worth for those who didn't see or use the information.
Compared to other customers, those who saw and used calorie information consumed average of 152 fewer calories at hamburger chains and 73 fewer calories at sandwich chains. The reduction at coffee shops was 23 calories, USA Today reported.
The findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society.