Is Counting Calories Enough for Weigh Loss?

In places like New York, it is has become mandatory for fast food restaurants to print the calorie counts of foods on menu cards. But, is that enough to encourage people to choose healthier options?

New York University health policy experts conducted a study to answer this vital question. The study involved asking hundreds of teenagers and children about their choice of fast food at the restaurant before and after the calorie content got printed on the menu. The objective was to find out if the choices made were different, as well as to evaluate the sale of a particular food item.

According to the results of the study, only 16% were influenced by the calorie content of the food item, whereas the rest noticed it, but did not change their selection.

counting calories - Daily Mail

The result published in the International Journal of Obesity indicated that the visible calorie content did not have a significant effect on the food consumed. However, consumers did underestimate the calorie content and ending up consuming much more than planned.

Although researcher Dr. Brian Elbel claims that this study lacked an adequate number of subjects and the responses were mostly obtained from teenagers, the results cannot refute the fact that the conclusions were based on a ‘real world’ setting.

Based on these results, it can be safely concluded that calorie content may not be the major determinant when it comes to choosing fast foods, and that it is the taste, prices, and location that greatly influence this decision.