Study: Healthy Food Choices Increase when Nutrition Labels Present

According to a new study by the Center for Weight and Health at the University of California at Berkley, customers will select healthy offerings when nutrition information is provided on menus. The study was conducted in five Kaiser Parmanente cafeterias between last August and November.

Two-thirds of respondents said they noticed nutritional information when it was posted on menu boards, and one-third of those who noticed the information reported that they altered their purchases as a result of the information.

"This research showed that posting calorie counts changes patron food selections," said Karen Webb, co-author of the study and researcher at the Center for Weight and Health, in a press release. "Based on the changes we observed on patrons' lunch choices and the frequency with which patrons go to the cafeteria over the course of a week, this kind of intervention could prevent up to five pounds of unwanted weight gain per year."

In light of the information, Kaiser Parmanente says it will place calorie information on menu boards in the cafeterias it operates in California, Oregon and Hawaii.