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Fast-Food Calorie Labels May Not Mean Healthier Choices

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) - You would think that finding out your favorite fast-food hamburger has more than 600 calories would prevent you from ordering it, but new research suggests that for some, that isn't the case.

A new study has found that displaying the calorie content of items at fast-food restaurants doesn't make parents of young children or teenagers order healthier food, reports Science Daily.

Researchers studied orders at four fast-food restaurants in New York both before and after legislation was implemented there that made it mandatory to display calorie and nutritional content.

"We didn't notice a change in calories purchased before and after labeling [went into effect]," said study leader Dr. Brian Elbel, assistant professor of medicine and health policy at the New York University School of Medicine and Wagner School of Public Service.

In fact, the number of calories per order actually rose slightly for teens, on avearge. Although just 57 percent of teens studied in New York noticed the labels, the teens bought 755 calories worth of food compared to 730 calories before the labels were implemented.

The study authors have recommended that a similar study be conducted nationwide when mandatory labeling takes effect across the entire country.

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