When people know the calories and fat content in foods, they lean toward healthier fare, revealed the Cornell study of food labels in dining halls. Municipal and federal legislation are in the pipelines for large restaurants and dining facilities to put labels on their foods. But, before this study there was little evidence to show such labels are effective in helping people make healthier food choices.
Co-author David Levitsky said, "The study is one of the few definitive studies demonstrating, at least in a university dining hall, that putting calories and fat content on the label on various foods purchased in the dining hall produces a reduction in calories and fat content purchased."
The results revealed a 7% reduction of mean total calories and total fat purchased per week. It was also observed that the percent of sales of low-fat and low-calories foods increased, while sales of high-calorie and high-fat foods decreased.
The study was published in Appetite.