How New Calorie Counts on Menus Helps Weight Reduction

 

Calories Count (and Calorie Counts) When You’re Eating Out

Video taken from the channel: U.S. Food and Drug Administration


 

Weight Loss Sabotaged By Wrong Calorie Counts On Menus

Video taken from the channel: WLSChannel


 

Do calorie counts on menus help people eat healthier?

Video taken from the channel: CBS News


 

Menu Calorie Counts: How Accurate Are They?

Video taken from the channel: ABC News


 

Calorie Counts on Menus Apparently Don’t Help Diners Lose Much Weight

Video taken from the channel: b/60


 

ASK UNMC! Do calorie counts on menus help reduce obesity?

Video taken from the channel: UNMCEDU


 

Sadly, Putting Calorie Counts on Menus is Ineffective

Video taken from the channel: Healthcare Triage


 

Calories Count (and Calorie Counts) When You’re Eating Out

Video taken from the channel: U.S. Food and Drug Administration


 

Weight Loss Sabotaged By Wrong Calorie Counts On Menus

Video taken from the channel: WLSChannel


 

Do calorie counts on menus help people eat healthier?

Video taken from the channel: CBS News


 

Menu Calorie Counts: How Accurate Are They?

Video taken from the channel: ABC News


 

ASK UNMC! Do calorie counts on menus help reduce obesity?

Video taken from the channel: UNMCEDU


 

Calorie Counts on Menus Apparently Don’t Help Diners Lose Much Weight

Video taken from the channel: b/60


 

Sadly, Putting Calorie Counts on Menus is Ineffective

Video taken from the channel: Healthcare Triage


And the FDA states that this can translate into improved health outcomes since research has shown that menu labeling efforts have decreased the average number of calories ordered by 30–50 calories per visit, which could translate into losing 3–5 pounds in a year. FRIDAY, Sept. 14, 2018 With roughly 40 percent of Americans now obese, new research finds that one strategy may be helping Americans stay slim: calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Calorie counts wont stop people from eating too much, but it will stop people with eating disorders from eating. Calories counting perpetuates obsession with calories. The New Calories per Pound of Weight Loss Rule. 4.5(90%) 94votes.

Losing a pound of fat can take as few as 10 calories a day or as many as 55, depending on whether you’re improving food quality or just restricting food quantity. Subscribe to VideosDiscuss. Weight loss can be hard if you don’t know how many calories you take in. A new study suggests that some restaurants offer deceptive menu information. Research has shown that people make smarter choices when restaurants list the calorie counts on their menu.

The researchers found that the diners who received the menus with the calorie counts ordered meals with 3 percent fewer calories — which equates to approximately 45 fewer. Barrett agrees that having calorie counts on all menus may increase feelings of guilt around eating. “I think a good compromise, which some restaurants already do, is to highlight meals that are lower in calories (usually under 500 kcal). This helps people make lower energy choices without the need for calorie counts on all meals,” she says. These 3 Easy Calorie-Counting Rules Will Help You Lose Weight. Tracking your calories is a safe way to slim down.

Sharpen your calorie-counting skills with these tips. New research suggests that adding calorie counts to menus may not help to curb obesity. researchers from Stanford University found that Starbucks customers bought, on average, six percent fewer calories per trip after New York City’s 2008 law went into effect. hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23. For 1 pound weight loss per week: Subtract your above number by 500 and plan for this calorie level daily. (Why 500? 1 pound equals 3500 calories.

If you omit 500 calories a day from your diet for 7 days, you can lose 1 pound – 500 calories times 7 days a week equals 3500 calorie which is 1 pound.) Smallest Winner Weight Loss Challeng.

List of related literature:

from this figure, one subtracts 500 kcal/d for every pound per week that should be lost (a deficit of 3,500 calories equals a weight loss of1 lb).

“Primary Care Medicine: Office Evaluation and Management of The Adult Patient: Sixth Edition” by Allan H Goroll, Albert G Mulley, Jr.
from Primary Care Medicine: Office Evaluation and Management of The Adult Patient: Sixth Edition
by Allan H Goroll, Albert G Mulley, Jr.
Wolters Kluwer Health, 2011

This new weekly deficit of 3850 kCal (550 kCal per day) allows the dieter to increase daily food intake by 50 kCal and still maintain a 1-pound weekly fat loss.

“Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance” by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch
from Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance
by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010

With its new point system, Weight Watchers considers not only the calories, but also their source.

“The Single Woman's Guide to Retirement” by Jan Cullinane
from The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement
by Jan Cullinane
Wiley, 2012

While predicting weight loss based on the equation of 3,500 calories per pound is useful early in weight loss, as an individual loses weight, metabolism (and thus energy expenditure) changes and the equation becomes less accurate and overpredicts weight loss.

“Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals” by Natalie Digate Muth, Michelle Murphy Zive
from Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals
by Natalie Digate Muth, Michelle Murphy Zive
F.A. Davis Company, 2019

Figure 3.1 shows weight loss plotted against food intake but uses different symbols for these three sets of participants who differ in the amount they exercised.

“Regression Analysis and Linear Models: Concepts, Applications, and Implementation” by Richard B. Darlington, Andrew F. Hayes
from Regression Analysis and Linear Models: Concepts, Applications, and Implementation
by Richard B. Darlington, Andrew F. Hayes
Guilford Publications, 2016

Restaurants with calories displayed on menus had lower calorie counts compared to restaurants without such labels.

“Global Health 101, Fourth Edition” by Richard Skolnik
from Global Health 101, Fourth Edition
by Richard Skolnik
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019

Being calorie aware is the first step toward weight loss and keeping your healthy weight.

“American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition” by Roberta Larson Duyff
from American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition
by Roberta Larson Duyff
HMH Books, 2012

The top quartile, which reported a mean activity level of 2,500 kcal/week, had the best long-term weight loss.

“Handbook of Obesity Treatment” by Thomas A. Wadden, Albert J. Stunkard
from Handbook of Obesity Treatment
by Thomas A. Wadden, Albert J. Stunkard
Guilford Publications, 2004

Recommendations include a reduction in total calories initially by 500 or more per day while maintaining appropriate proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in the diet, typically resulting in a loss ofapproximately 1 to 2 pounds per week, a common goal of most weight-loss programs (USDA, 2005b).

“Global Health Care: Issues and Policies” by Carol Holtz
from Global Health Care: Issues and Policies
by Carol Holtz
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2007

In a crossover study, Bortz et al. (1966) saw no difference in weight loss in a group of six obese women on an isoenergetic diet of 600 kcal daily in either one, three, or nine meals per day.

“Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease” by Victor R. Preedy
from Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease
by Victor R. Preedy
Springer New York, 2012

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

Ale[email protected]

View all posts

154 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I can say that I have changed what I order thanks to menu labelling. I may walk in with what I want to order, but nearly always I end up cutting back, or swapping out one high calorie food for a lower calorie one.

  • Admittedly the only time I pay significant attention to calories is when I’m debating two or more items and can’t decide. I then let the calorie count be the tie breaker.

  • If I was to eat the recommended calorie intake I would put on a lot of weight. I’m 5ft 10in and 70kg and I survive on around 1200 calories a day. If I was to eat about 800 more calories, well that wouldn’t be good

  • How quickly did anti-smoking policies work? Calories is a starting point, eventually we will regulate more and they will have to include grams for each ingredient, we deserve to know what they are serving, it’s not just a nutrition or health outcome policy, it’s a freedom of information policy, consumers have a right to consume unhealthy products sometimes, we have a right to regulate, part of the regulation that we want is a disclosure of the ingredients.

  • Does anyone know that the Joule (SI symbol: J), the SI unit for energy, is the most widely-used unit for food energy outside of the United States?

  • What if the restaurants printed the total calories per person in the receipt, and added encouraging / discouraging words in big bold letters on the bottom? It’s one thing to look at your calorie intake on your own, and quite another to be under the illusion that someone’s judging you.

  • When I was trying to lose weight, I was very thankful for the calories listed. But I feel if you aren’t dieting, people don’t care.

  • Misquote “It seems odd to do the research, not find any evidence and yet continue with the policy”. You sir have obviously never worked in government. There simply isn’t a culture yet in the vast majority of representative’s offices of changing minds due to evidence vs. what ‘feels right’ especially as the vast majority of voters are only going to pay attention to the headlines and not the details.

  • 2 points.

    1. when I saw how much calories were in my average chipotle order, I stopped going to chipitle nearly as much. I still order the same thing every time I go, but I go less often, thus decreasing caloric intake.

    2. When I go eat out, I don’t change how much I eat at the restaurant, I just compensate for the extra calories in my remaining meals

    I support caloric info on menus

  • Everyone that drink water dies. While I try to stay on the “healthy” side, I do not look at calories in food. Sure, I know that once a week pizza isn’t healthy, but I’d rather live a bit than just give up and wait to die.

  • This video was very eye opening actually. I always thought that menu labeling at restaurants was extremely effective, but this video has strong evidence that it hasn’t really helped and that blows my mind. Personally, I think menu labeling is really helpful, and has guided me to make better choices at restaurants and fast food places. I don’t understand how its not helping other people, but then again I have always been somewhat health conscious. Other people who have never been conscious are not going to change their behavior because the calories are now posted. Facts don’t change behavior. I would think people would want to better their health, and that menu labeling would help, but we are creatures of habit and it is hard for people to change. I think he made a good point in why the government continues to push this when there is clear and convincing evidence that the research and implementing this isn’t working. Also, i’m confused why companies are still so persistent in waiting to put the calories out there if the research states it doesn’t actually cause people to eat less calories. If the companies aren’t losing any money by this, then why are they still avoiding it? Personally, I would like the calories to stay on the menu because I think its worth the money that it costs the companies to put them out there. The video is stating that it is ineffective for people to better their health, but for me and other people who are health conscious it is actually very helpful.

  • Even if it doesn’t help overall, i’d still rather have more data about my food than less, BUT if that data is wrong, then it is pretty useless.

  • It’s distinctly possible that when their behavior didn’t change because when people go out to eat at places like this they already know they are being indulgent.

  • I’m pretty healthy and have McDonalds once every 4-6 months probably, usually later at night after a few drinks.

    I like to divide the calories of a burger by its price to try and find the most calories per dollar, then jam my face full of that food. Efficiency!

  • I wonder if there are any people like me messing up those studies, since I weigh 126 or so at 6 feet tall, I intentionally buy the larger calorie item when I see calorie labels.

  • Love the vids but I think I can see a universal flaw in all of the studies mentioned in this clip. For instance let me use myself as an example. I count my calories and still order what would be considered excessive calories when I go out to eat but then with that knowledge of how many calories I consumed (thanks to menu items having that info) I curtail my consumption during the rest of the day or following days. Why are the calories consumed at the restaurant considered the end point for all of these studies? I think having caloric info on menus is very helpful in combating obesity but these studies use an inappropriate endpoint

  • I use menu labelling to make sure I always get as many calories as possible. I feel cheated. They probably did not give me all the calories I ordered.

  • Just a thought, maybe the studies are a bit biased towards people who ended up ordering from the restaurant. I find myself changing restaurants towards healthier ones based on the information, so I wouldn’t be included in the study’s numbers because I didn’t end up ordering anything anyway. Besides how different are my choices when eating at a fast food place when most of what they offer has high calories leaving me with very little possible variation to limit my intake.

  • I am on a diet and have been for about 18 months and I have successfully lost 15kg. I am angry at these studies! Most people don’t care about their calories most of the time. The calorie labels are for those people who do care about their calories. You have measured how everyone responds to calorie counts but you should have measured people seriously committed to a diet who have already lost weight but have more to loose. I feel confident those people would respond to calorie labelling. I quite simply do not eat a restaurants now I do because I don’t know how many calories (or sodium) is in the food I am eating but my scales assure me it must have been a lot every time I have visited a restaurant.

  • The fact that people still order the same amount of food, doesn’t mean it didn’t work. 
    I personally go to a fastfood restaurant because I want to eat fastfood. I know already that it’s not healthy and has a lot of calories. If I didn’t want that, then I would not go to the fastfood restaurant to begin with.
    When I see calories on the menu, I know how much I ate and therefore I know how many calories I ate too much. I compensate that amount later on the day or the next day… So it actually DOES work for me, because I have more precise information about how much I eat and I will compensate that amount at a different time. 
    If I don’t have information about how much I ate, then I don’t know how much ‘too much’ I ate and it’s more difficult to compensate the calories for me.

  • It’s pretty annoying to be a slightly under average-weight young female. There’s such a small window between being calorie deficient and overeating.

  • This is far from anything substantiated, but instead heavily anecdotal, but I find it humorous.

    When I go to sit down joints that have a section of ‘healthy’ dishes, that often contain foods my mates would often eat both at home or at other places that just don’t list them in a healthy section, they scoff at the healthy marketing and proclaim “I didn’t come to insert food establishment for something ‘healthy’, I came for something filling!”

    This is despite the ‘healthy’ options being things like a steak, mac-cheese, and boiled broccoli. Personally one of my favourite dishes, and a dish I often would cook for these people at home… followed by proclimations of how much they love it and don’t know why they haven’t had it in ages. “Man… last time I had this was my gramma’s house… why don’t I eat this more often?”

  • Would you ever do a show about the surprising and somewhat confusing evidence concerning the impact of alcohol use on immune function? Or a comparison of the neurological impacts of various drugs?

  • I’d be interested to see if they work via a different mechanismnot ordering anything and causing sales reductions. The fast food segment in this country has had a notable decline in same-store sales which may be at least partly related to calorie labeling.

    At least personally, I’ve often found myself in a McDonald’s or Taco Bell on a whim, perhaps a bit hungry or just wanting a snack. Seeing the calorie labels makes me more likely to reconsider and leave the restaurant entirely without ordering anything. Moreover, I often just don’t even enter the restaurant, because I know what I’m going to see by now.

    Yet, if I go into a McDonald’s and decide to purchase something, I’m still going to get a Big Mac. If a researcher looked at my personal data from what I order at McDonald’s as a McDonald’s customer, they would see no change. But in fact they have changed my behaviorjust in a way the study can’t measure.

  • Part of the problem is that when my family eats out, we don’t worry about calorie counts that much. We view it as a treat. The question is how many of these people eat out a lot?

  • If people keep calling them “calories” instead of the proper “Kilocalories”, it’s no wonder they’d think they can keep over-eating.

  • Also male pattern baldness treatments video please. I go to baldness clinic doctor says will fix, no worries, very few side affects. I check with regular doctor he says will never work, more side affects and costs too much money. One thing is for sure it does cost a lot of money. Who should I be believing?

  • @ 4:25 do all restaurant employees, fast food and sit down, touch our food with their bare hands? Who knows if they actually washed their hands after they used the bathroom..

  • just order one dish you like and eat ’till you’re 3/4 full. maybe get a glass of water with it, not a sugary concoction that can serve as a meal by itself. done. no arbitrary labels needed.

  • I’m not surprised really:  I mean its not as if fast food being unhealthy was some dark secret that nobody knew about before these laws were implemented.  People have known for years that those places serve crap, they just dont care.

  • I’m tired of hearing about calories. It’s so overrated. Not that caloric intake isn’t important to consider, by it’s much more important to consider actual ingredients and making sure we have a good balance of the right ingredients and don’t over indulge on the less healthy ingredients. The only people that really need to consider calories are those watching their weight or trying to lose weight… IN COMBINATION with balanced and healthy food ingredients. Eating less calories does NOT mean you are eating healthy, just that you’re eating less.

  • Well… Giving people information ON THE SPOT isn’t conclusive, that’s not to say it may not be conclusive to run long term campaigns on the very issue…

    Same with your conclusion: you argue that since 3 studies conclude to the ineffectiveness of the mesure on small samples, we should stop.
    But since it’s been really really effective for me (I discovered it in the US a year ago and found it very helpful) and I absolutely love to know what I’m ordering, I feel like more information on nutrition isn’t a bad thing overall…

  • Pretty sure if you are going into a fast food place you aren’t caring about calories. You are caring about getting food for cheap.

  • Aaron Carroll,

    You seem a bit jaded… calorie counting does in fact seem to work. I am perhaps a acceptable example of that. I tried a lot of ways of losing weight and it eventually came down to calorie counting.

    I think what this shows is less that posting calorie counts doesn’t work and more that the general public has poor conceptions of what it means… I know that when I started to calorie count I had so many skewed conceptions of what a serving was, how much I should be getting, how much I was actually getting, and so on…

    There were times that before I calorie counted I saw the calories but I didn’t really estimate its impact on me correctly or I was not as willing to tally it up. I imagine that is the fundamental issue here… saying it ‘doesn’t work’ is an overstatement. But till there is motivation for people to in some way count and people understand what it means… I doubt the general public will ever benefit from it.

    Take it from me… I was disillusioned… and for the better I might add.

  • Claim: I know eating fast food is unhealthy.
    Hypothesis: why I would order more if given more information…
    If I assume blindly that it is bad for me, I will try to limit my consumption with an internal subconscious decision.  If I’m given facts that state ‘this burger meal is 66% of my daily calories/fat/salt/whatever’ I’ll say…”that’s fine, I’ll make up for it with a lighter…whatever next meal…breakfast etc.” because we tend to put less weight on negative memories than positive ones; “I will enjoy this burger now” and “I know dieting is crappy” have different weights in my decision matrix, and I will lean on the endorphin hit over the weak memory of diet pain every time.
    Now…couple that with me being a super-heavy-fast-food-user (more than 4x a week easily) and that decision is repeated every time I go with no real memory of the compounding effect that the poor choices have.

  • “It seems odd to do studies, note they don’t really seem to work, and say we should keep doing the policy. It sometimes feels that that’s the theme of too much nutrition policy in the United States these days.”

    SO true….

  • To be fair, no one goes to McDonald’s to eat healthy. If I’m going out to eat (which I don’t do that often), I’m not trying to eat healthy, I’m trying to enjoy myself. And if you do that in moderation, you’ll probably be okay.

  • I wonder if there are any people like me messing up those studies, since I weigh 126 or so at 6 feet tall, I intentionally buy the larger calorie item when I see calorie labels.

  • Couldn’t this low variance in calorie intake be caused by the high standardization of meals offered by restaurant chains? So let’s say every menu in a McDonalds has between 750 and 1,000 calories. Once I entered a McD I already decided, that I want to eat there and most of the time I have a favorite menu in mind. If this is the 1,000 calories menu I might still order it, because the other options don’t make such a huge difference so I can stick with the one I really want. And even if I change my mind…well, the difference would still be somewhat small.

  • Simply cutting calories, as much as conventional (misinformed) wisdom tells everyone, doesn’t help the body lose excess fat.  Starving oneself of nutrients only puts one’s body into famine mode; causing it to hold on to as much stored nutrients (fat) as possible in order to survive longer.  Exercising without having enough available energy and then not having enough nutrients to rebuild damaged muscle is very bad for the body.  Providing oneself with a nutrient-rich diet of healthy (and quality) fats, proteins, and minimal healthy carbohydrates (in order of importance) allows the body to self-regulate its own functions properly; such as fat storage.  Gaining excessive weight by overeating primarily comes from putting anti-nutrients into one’s body.  Factory-farmed meat and dairy, anything that has been heavily processed, anything which contains high-fructose corn syrup, anything with larges amounts of preservatives, and even most dairy products.  Try to eat foods that exist in nature like fats and meat from healthy animals, vegetables, and non-inflammatory carbs such as low-sugar fruits, carrots, and sweet-potatoes.  I’d highly recommend looking up a paleo diet, or,my favorite, the Bulletproof Diet.  Don’t trust marketing or food packages.  Look toward individuals who have done the experimentation on themselves and have done research and had great results, not what the nightly news has told you they read in an article.  That type of information is often highly simplified if not completely wrong or manipulative.  Good fortune in your quest for an improved quality of life!

  • Wow my heart is (probably quite literally soon) broken. I have been putting cascadian farm oats and honey granola in my yogurt every morning for so many months! My mom buys it and she’s so adamant about health that I just figured it was healthy.

  • Hey, thanks for putting the study information at the bottom of the information bubbles:) not sure if you did that before, but it helps.

  • In my house growing up we weren’t allowed to have cereal that had partially hydrogenated anything or high fructose anything else. When Cinnamon Toast Crunch changed to passed the test, we made mom and dad buy us like fifteen boxes. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But we were more focused on natural than calories.

  • I’m not surprised really:  I mean its not as if fast food being unhealthy was some dark secret that nobody knew about before these laws were implemented.  People have known for years that those places serve crap, they just dont care.

  • I think there should be labeling for those who DO care, like me, because then I have to estimate how many calories I ate instead of having a more accurate figure.

  • I don’t want to be given advice and information I want to be told precisely what to do.  Where are my giant economy sized packs of government sanctioned nutriglop “the only food you’ll ever need.” Giving me thousands of different choices just gives me thousands of ways to get it wrong.

  • @Healthcare Triage  It’s too bad it does not change overall calorie intake on average. However, in many ways, that is irrelevant. I can think of a couple of reasons menu labeling should happen.

    1. Just on principle, we should have access to information on what we are eating. Whether it changes my choices or not, I at least want to be able to know what I’m eating. If it’s hidden, it could be ANYTHING and that’s scary. 

    2. I would think the food companies would want to label their food to avoid any future liability. Tobacco companies hid information from us that had an impact on our health and they were found liable for huge damages. It’s not unreasonable to expect the same could happen to the food industry. The more they label, the more they can defend themselves by saying, “you knew exactly what you were eating when you purchased it.”  

    3. Labeling may not affect our total calorie intake, but it may help make us happier. Your granola vs hamburger example is perfect. If you see the bowl of granola with milk has the same fat as a burger, but the burger makes you happier, then the labeling has had an effect on your choice. While the calorie count has not changed, you are happier. The same goes for me when I discovered that those chopped salads at places like Fridays or California Pizza Kitchen are loaded with calories, I started choosing items with similar calories but that are much more satisfying. 

    Anecdotally, I have personally chosen what I’ve ordered many times based on calorie counts on the menu. I may be in the minority, but I like having the information. So, I like having it and I’d like to see more of it.

    Whether it’s the government’s role to require this or not is a political/policy question and I can see both sides of the argument. Perhaps a better approach would be to pass a law that says, “Companies who make accurate calorie and ingredient information easily available to consumers CANNOT be held liable for damages that food may cause to the health of the consumer.”  That would give companies a strong incentive to label accurately since the law would provide a safe haven.

  • I don’t use the restaurant info to change what I order at the restaurant. It changes the food I eat the rest of the week to still meet my goals.

  • Not sure how big the sample was, but p-values of.06 and.07 are pretty good. However, I am an economics major and we give a bit more leeway lol

  • The methodology is flawed. Just because I don’t reduce my caloric intake at a restaurant doesn’t mean I didn’t reduce my overall caloric intake for the entire day.

  • In my house growing up we weren’t allowed to have cereal that had partially hydrogenated anything or high fructose anything else. When Cinnamon Toast Crunch changed to passed the test, we made mom and dad buy us like fifteen boxes. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But we were more focused on natural than calories.

  • and this is why I’m terrified to eat in restaurants and usually order a salad with no dressing, croutons or cheese/meats if I have to eat there. Mostly I’m praying they can’t screw that one up too much with extra calories.

  • I think that restaurant menu labeling is more of a consumer rights issue than a health issue.  We should do it because people have a right to know what they put in their mouths.

  • Does anyone know that the Joule (SI symbol: J), the SI unit for energy, is the most widely-used unit for food energy outside of the United States?

  • Even if it doesn’t change my behaviour (I’m going to order my usual regardless) I still want to know what’s in it and how caloric it is. Should be transparent

  • the studies done at McDonald’s:
    I don’t think anyone of the participants went to McDonald’s while caring about calorie intake, heck they might have thought ‘hey! more calories per buck, what a deal!’

  • Aaron Carroll,

    You seem a bit jaded… calorie counting does in fact seem to work. I am perhaps a acceptable example of that. I tried a lot of ways of losing weight and it eventually came down to calorie counting.

    I think what this shows is less that posting calorie counts doesn’t work and more that the general public has poor conceptions of what it means… I know that when I started to calorie count I had so many skewed conceptions of what a serving was, how much I should be getting, how much I was actually getting, and so on…

    There were times that before I calorie counted I saw the calories but I didn’t really estimate its impact on me correctly or I was not as willing to tally it up. I imagine that is the fundamental issue here… saying it ‘doesn’t work’ is an overstatement. But till there is motivation for people to in some way count and people understand what it means… I doubt the general public will ever benefit from it.

    Take it from me… I was disillusioned… and for the better I might add.

  • I am a huge fan of Calorie counts. I am not trying to lose weight and am instead trying to gain weight. When I make anything myself counting Calories is very easy but when I go out to eat I am left with a vacuum instead of any information. From what I understand my locality has recently legislated requirements for Calorie counts and I, personally, cannot wait for this to be fully enacted.

  • Personally, I find menu labeling to be helpful. I have absolutely changed my mind about what I am going to order at restaurants due to the nutrition information provided. However, I am actively watching what I eat and trying to make the healthiest choices possible. Many healthy-appearing choices are actually calorie bombs, so accurate calorie information is very much appreciated. Of course, I don’t eat fast food, with the exception of the occasional Chic-fil-A salad.

  • If people keep calling them “calories” instead of the proper “Kilocalories”, it’s no wonder they’d think they can keep over-eating.

  • Hey, thanks for putting the study information at the bottom of the information bubbles:) not sure if you did that before, but it helps.

  • Also male pattern baldness treatments video please. I go to baldness clinic doctor says will fix, no worries, very few side affects. I check with regular doctor he says will never work, more side affects and costs too much money. One thing is for sure it does cost a lot of money. Who should I be believing?

  • Personally, I find menu labeling to be helpful. I have absolutely changed my mind about what I am going to order at restaurants due to the nutrition information provided. However, I am actively watching what I eat and trying to make the healthiest choices possible. Many healthy-appearing choices are actually calorie bombs, so accurate calorie information is very much appreciated. Of course, I don’t eat fast food, with the exception of the occasional Chic-fil-A salad.

  • It’s distinctly possible that when their behavior didn’t change because when people go out to eat at places like this they already know they are being indulgent.

  • you seriously have no idea when it comes to eating healthy. LOL
    Oils are good for you and you need them part of your daily consumption. You are a fucking bigot!

  • It helps a little bit. It’s easy to simply pick something healthy one day and then something a bit less health with a cake or ice cream or desert and then try and eat really healthy again. I look at calories sometimes but mostly I forget but I think it’s helpful they are posted

  • @ 4:25 do all restaurant employees, fast food and sit down, touch our food with their bare hands? Who knows if they actually washed their hands after they used the bathroom..

  • @Healthcare Triage  It’s too bad it does not change overall calorie intake on average. However, in many ways, that is irrelevant. I can think of a couple of reasons menu labeling should happen.

    1. Just on principle, we should have access to information on what we are eating. Whether it changes my choices or not, I at least want to be able to know what I’m eating. If it’s hidden, it could be ANYTHING and that’s scary. 

    2. I would think the food companies would want to label their food to avoid any future liability. Tobacco companies hid information from us that had an impact on our health and they were found liable for huge damages. It’s not unreasonable to expect the same could happen to the food industry. The more they label, the more they can defend themselves by saying, “you knew exactly what you were eating when you purchased it.”  

    3. Labeling may not affect our total calorie intake, but it may help make us happier. Your granola vs hamburger example is perfect. If you see the bowl of granola with milk has the same fat as a burger, but the burger makes you happier, then the labeling has had an effect on your choice. While the calorie count has not changed, you are happier. The same goes for me when I discovered that those chopped salads at places like Fridays or California Pizza Kitchen are loaded with calories, I started choosing items with similar calories but that are much more satisfying. 

    Anecdotally, I have personally chosen what I’ve ordered many times based on calorie counts on the menu. I may be in the minority, but I like having the information. So, I like having it and I’d like to see more of it.

    Whether it’s the government’s role to require this or not is a political/policy question and I can see both sides of the argument. Perhaps a better approach would be to pass a law that says, “Companies who make accurate calorie and ingredient information easily available to consumers CANNOT be held liable for damages that food may cause to the health of the consumer.”  That would give companies a strong incentive to label accurately since the law would provide a safe haven.

  • I dunno.. maybe I’m an outlier, but often when I’ve seen a menu full of 1500+ calorie “meals” (a chips a drink and a fibreless burger) I’ve skipped the meal altogether and just ordered a salad without dressing. Shrugs

  • Forget the restaurants! The best way to eat healthily is to make my own food! From scratch. No packaged stuff in the grocery store with misleading “nutrition facts” labels, no useless calorie and fat info on restaurant menus where I don’t know exactly what I’m getting when I order a meal. I want to be in control of what I eat!

  • Claim: I know eating fast food is unhealthy.
    Hypothesis: why I would order more if given more information…
    If I assume blindly that it is bad for me, I will try to limit my consumption with an internal subconscious decision.  If I’m given facts that state ‘this burger meal is 66% of my daily calories/fat/salt/whatever’ I’ll say…”that’s fine, I’ll make up for it with a lighter…whatever next meal…breakfast etc.” because we tend to put less weight on negative memories than positive ones; “I will enjoy this burger now” and “I know dieting is crappy” have different weights in my decision matrix, and I will lean on the endorphin hit over the weak memory of diet pain every time.
    Now…couple that with me being a super-heavy-fast-food-user (more than 4x a week easily) and that decision is repeated every time I go with no real memory of the compounding effect that the poor choices have.

  • I’m going to offer a few different counter-points that weren’t addressed by this video based on my anecdotal experience:

    1)Culture change takes time. I remember when I first started seeing calorie counts in some restaurants, I didn’t pay much attention because the numbers meant little to nothing to me. I had little to compare them to, and didn’t know how many calories I should have on a daily basis. However, once I became slightly more health conscious, I remember being amazed by the calorie counts. There are so many different items that are astoundingly bad for you that I never would have guessed. It was incredibly beneficial to me in my dieting path, but you may not have picked up on any changes I made during one of those studies because…

    2)Having calorie counts at restaurants made me less likely to eat at certain restaurants, not necessarily choose the healthier option at the restaurant. I used to love to eat at Taco Bell. It’s cheap, I like the taste, and I figured that the bean burritos I got weren’t that much worse for me than anything I could make at home. However, once I found out the actual calorie counts of certain items, I realized how many more calories I was eating than I thought, and now I only go there if it’s a cheat day. Meaning I’ll eat there less frequently, but when I do, I’m more likely to eat an additional hundred calories or so.

    3)When I am tracking calories and I eat out, even if I don’t choose the healthier option, the calorie counts still help me. This is because I now know that I just ate 1200 calories for lunch and will make sure to have a light dinner.

    Obesity is such a huge issue in the United States, that when you take into account the medical expense, lost productivity and loss of quality of life, anything that helps in reducing calorie intake by a fraction of a percent will still pay huge dividends. If it’s costly to businesses, subsidize it. If they aren’t posting true calorie counts, enforce it. If there’s a large range in what might be served as a serving, put the range on the menu. Because there won’t be enough studies of sufficient scope and rigor to prove that calorie counts are effective in any form at reducing weight for many years to come. And without that proof that they aren’t effective, the guess that they should be is enough to warrant almost any reasonable cost spent on it.

  • Personally, menu labeling sets off  ED symptoms for me. It DOES make me order less calories, because it scares me. 
    In addition, it’s more likely for me to change what I’d order from a meal and water, to a (calorie containing) drink and side dish, where instead I’d have chosen a meal and water.

  • Even if it doesn’t help overall, i’d still rather have more data about my food than less, BUT if that data is wrong, then it is pretty useless.

  • If information doesn’t make people change their behavior then why is smoking so much less than it used to be? Part of the problem is that counting calories is a time consuming process and a lot of people who lose weight gain it right back. I think it’s more about avoiding certain items like sugar and other empty calories rather than focus on calories themselves. I don’t count calories at all, but during breakfast and lunch I eat whole grains, plant based food. I don’t eat meat and I rarely eat sugar. In the evenings I am more flexible and will eat a broader range of food, but I generally try to avoid breaded foods and other empty calories. I lost 20 pounds when I switched to this diet. To lose weight I did count calories. But in order maintain my weight I haven’t had to court any calories.

  • Calorie counts on menus actually help me a lot. But that’s only because I struggle to get enough calories in a day, not because I’m trying to cut calories out of my diet.

  • Great video as always (depressing, but still good).  I think it’s fantastic you’re putting the reference sources in the video, but I don’t think you need to read them outloud.  Might as well trim the video a bit and people can read the text you added if they want more information.

  • If information doesn’t make people change their behavior then why is smoking so much less than it used to be? Part of the problem is that counting calories is a time consuming process and a lot of people who lose weight gain it right back. I think it’s more about avoiding certain items like sugar and other empty calories rather than focus on calories themselves. I don’t count calories at all, but during breakfast and lunch I eat whole grains, plant based food. I don’t eat meat and I rarely eat sugar. In the evenings I am more flexible and will eat a broader range of food, but I generally try to avoid breaded foods and other empty calories. I lost 20 pounds when I switched to this diet. To lose weight I did count calories. But in order maintain my weight I haven’t had to court any calories.

  • I look at the calorie counts and base my decision on that information whenever available. A list of ingredients would be an additional plus.

  • “It seems odd to do studies, note they don’t really seem to work, and say we should keep doing the policy. It sometimes feels that that’s the theme of too much nutrition policy in the United States these days.”

    SO true….

  • Are there any studies to see if the calorie labeling effected behavior beyond the restaurant?  For instance if I knew my hamburger was 1000 calories, I could cut out something else later in my day to compensate.

  • Caliories on menus are not enough. There should be list of all ingredients, epecially toxic. (some food ingredients are treated toxic in EU and freely added to US food)

  • I try to stick to 3 meals a day. Mix in Salads every other day. Avoid Soda and Candy. And excersice, mostly Cardio. But generally I eat what I feel like eating forget all this Herbivore diet or Calorie count BS.

  • I dunno.. maybe I’m an outlier, but often when I’ve seen a menu full of 1500+ calorie “meals” (a chips a drink and a fibreless burger) I’ve skipped the meal altogether and just ordered a salad without dressing. Shrugs

  • Speak for yourself. I greatly appreciate calorie labels and follow them religiously. I like to have peace of mind about what I ordered and I enter it into MyFitnessPal. Of course people won’t care about calorie counts if they don’t give a shit in the first place.

  • Part of the problem is that when my family eats out, we don’t worry about calorie counts that much. We view it as a treat. The question is how many of these people eat out a lot?

  • How quickly did anti-smoking policies work? Calories is a starting point, eventually we will regulate more and they will have to include grams for each ingredient, we deserve to know what they are serving, it’s not just a nutrition or health outcome policy, it’s a freedom of information policy, consumers have a right to consume unhealthy products sometimes, we have a right to regulate, part of the regulation that we want is a disclosure of the ingredients.

  • It’s pretty annoying to be a slightly under average-weight young female. There’s such a small window between being calorie deficient and overeating.

  • I like having nutritional information on menus.  First, I think it encourages restaurants to think about their preparation methods and not go too crazy with calories.  Second, I will still order what I like, but I now know how to eat for the rest of the day to balance out splurge of going to a restaurant.  Third, it keeps me from thinking I have made a healthy food choice when I really haven’t.  Like the Blueberry Organic cereal he talks about in the videomany foods sound healthy but really aren’t.

  • Ontario Canada introduced menu labelling in all restaurants this year. It has had no effect on my or anyone I know’s ordering. It has made me feel guilty for eating it, though. The big controversy when it first came in was that it would be damaging to people trying to recover from anorexia and bulimia. They would be assaulted with calorie information wherever they went to eat.

  • Misquote “It seems odd to do the research, not find any evidence and yet continue with the policy”. You sir have obviously never worked in government. There simply isn’t a culture yet in the vast majority of representative’s offices of changing minds due to evidence vs. what ‘feels right’ especially as the vast majority of voters are only going to pay attention to the headlines and not the details.

  • Question: do calorie labels aid specifically people trying to lose weight by counting calories in doing so? Or do people trying to lose weight via that strategy do so just as effectively without menu labels?

  • Everyone that drink water dies. While I try to stay on the “healthy” side, I do not look at calories in food. Sure, I know that once a week pizza isn’t healthy, but I’d rather live a bit than just give up and wait to die.

  • Simply cutting calories, as much as conventional (misinformed) wisdom tells everyone, doesn’t help the body lose excess fat.  Starving oneself of nutrients only puts one’s body into famine mode; causing it to hold on to as much stored nutrients (fat) as possible in order to survive longer.  Exercising without having enough available energy and then not having enough nutrients to rebuild damaged muscle is very bad for the body.  Providing oneself with a nutrient-rich diet of healthy (and quality) fats, proteins, and minimal healthy carbohydrates (in order of importance) allows the body to self-regulate its own functions properly; such as fat storage.  Gaining excessive weight by overeating primarily comes from putting anti-nutrients into one’s body.  Factory-farmed meat and dairy, anything that has been heavily processed, anything which contains high-fructose corn syrup, anything with larges amounts of preservatives, and even most dairy products.  Try to eat foods that exist in nature like fats and meat from healthy animals, vegetables, and non-inflammatory carbs such as low-sugar fruits, carrots, and sweet-potatoes.  I’d highly recommend looking up a paleo diet, or,my favorite, the Bulletproof Diet.  Don’t trust marketing or food packages.  Look toward individuals who have done the experimentation on themselves and have done research and had great results, not what the nightly news has told you they read in an article.  That type of information is often highly simplified if not completely wrong or manipulative.  Good fortune in your quest for an improved quality of life!

  • Saying we shouldn’t have labeling because people do not have the willpower or common sense to change their eating habits is like saying we shouldn’t have seat belts in cars because people don’t use them. A minority of people use the labeling to great effect. People that regularly eat fast food, however, are likely not very health conscious, so they are not representative of the entire population.

  • To be fair, no one goes to McDonald’s to eat healthy. If I’m going out to eat (which I don’t do that often), I’m not trying to eat healthy, I’m trying to enjoy myself. And if you do that in moderation, you’ll probably be okay.

  • I don’t use the restaurant info to change what I order at the restaurant. It changes the food I eat the rest of the week to still meet my goals.

  • I am not sure there is an exact way to measure effectiveness in these surveys. Typically when people go to a fast food restaurant they already have in mind what they are going to order. That is not always the case at restaurants which allows the caloric count on menus to be somewhat more effective. However, at fast food I really do think for a large group of people that the calorie information does make a difference. Just because they are not persuaded to change their order that day, doesn’t mean they are not going to adjust their caloric intake for the rest of the day. Putting calorie counts on menus DOES raise awareness, and it does help a lot of people who track daily calories and adjust accordingly. As mentioned before, I do not think it is fair to measure effectiveness on whether or not they change their order when seeing the amount of caloriesbecause typically people already know what they are going to order. These studies would be more effective if they followed these individuals to see how they used the calorie information. There is no argument that within the last few years there has been an increased awareness in the fast food industry about health related issues. I think it would be unfair to say calorie counts on menus are entirely ineffective. Even reading comments on this video, that seems to be the general consensus. There are always going to be individuals who do not care, but it helps a lot of people who do take this information in mind. And it is very important to try and raise awarenessit has to start somewhere!

  • ergh… this video felt like it was missing the biggest picture of all… that people have behaviors and cravings… 
    If I want a burger from McDonalds because I’m CRAVING for one, I’m gonna go get it. I already KNOW that it’s bad for me, yet because I crave it, I’m only human and I’m going to take care of my cravings.
    If I’m already set on my choice, and I arrive at the place, handed info on calories and whatever, I’m still going to order my burger.
    Cravings do not always follow logic (or what’s “best for you”).
    Besides high calorie count, what I find most annoying is the amount you get and prices at restaurants (the sit-down type).
    Depending on the place, sometimes you order something that is more than one servings. So if I get a dinner plate, the food on my plate might actually be worth two meals (and not one).
    I’m trying to eat healthier/better and one of my main problems is portion control (not so much as to what I eat). I need to learn better to control my taste buds and take food home with me rather than eating the whole thing then and there. I personally wish dishes were smaller (WITH smaller prices), but people like more “bang for their buck”… so I guess I’m going to have to try and control myself better… ^^;
    The first sentence of the video got the problem down right: “We’re eating too much”. It’s not always about high calories but the amount we eat.
    (But yea there are a lot of foods in America that have high calories because of preservatives):/

  • Pretty sure if you are going into a fast food place you aren’t caring about calories. You are caring about getting food for cheap.

  • I believe there is some flaws in the studies being reference.
    When doing this research did they take in to consideration people actively trying to lose weight.
    I am in this catagory. Over the past year I have been dieting and have completely changed my eating habits, but I still like eating out. I have found there are many items on menus that seem healthy but are not. An example Applebee’s Shrimp and spinach salad, sounds healthy right? It has 1000 calories. I don’t eat those.
    Another thing these studies missed are people who stopped eating at places like Mcdonalds. I am in this catagory as well. Once seeing the nutritional info and knowing how bad that food is I stopped eating there. McDonalds may some healthy chooses, like a fruit cup or something, but if I want a piece of fruit I can that get at a grocery store. For me I veiw going in to McDonalds and trying to get healthy food is like send a recovering alcholic into a bar for water.
    You may think nutritional info on menu is not helpful, but for me having that imformation is very helpful and I’ve lost 95 lbs so far.

  • Question: do calorie labels aid specifically people trying to lose weight by counting calories in doing so? Or do people trying to lose weight via that strategy do so just as effectively without menu labels?

  • I’d be interested to see if they work via a different mechanismnot ordering anything and causing sales reductions. The fast food segment in this country has had a notable decline in same-store sales which may be at least partly related to calorie labeling.

    At least personally, I’ve often found myself in a McDonald’s or Taco Bell on a whim, perhaps a bit hungry or just wanting a snack. Seeing the calorie labels makes me more likely to reconsider and leave the restaurant entirely without ordering anything. Moreover, I often just don’t even enter the restaurant, because I know what I’m going to see by now.

    Yet, if I go into a McDonald’s and decide to purchase something, I’m still going to get a Big Mac. If a researcher looked at my personal data from what I order at McDonald’s as a McDonald’s customer, they would see no change. But in fact they have changed my behaviorjust in a way the study can’t measure.

  • No one should need “research” to realize that counting calories is a distraction, and absolute bullshit.  Calories are the measurement of energy that is contained in a given amount of food.  It doesn’t matter what the calorie distribution is between the different nutrients, the number of calories will give NO indication as to how exactly a particular food will affect one’s metabolism and/or if they will gain weight or not.

    Any and all “convenience” foods will be high in something that will make you gain weight.  And any ready-made meal one buys outside, will most likely have everything that will make you gain weight.  You wanna eat a pizza/burger/sub, and have let’s say, ice cream for dessert?  Besides the fact that excess pizza consumption is just asking for heart disease, all three of those are extremely high in sodium, fat, and, carbs.  Excess sodium dehydrates the body, and makes people retain extra water weight.  Consuming a high amount of saturated fat is bad for two reasons: 1) saturated fat is the type that solidifies in the body, and 2) fat is used by the body LAST, for energy. and carbs are used first.  Carbs are the first and primary source of energy for the body, but unused carbs are converted into fat, which, needless to say, will make you gain weight.  Finally, sugars are broken down into carbs, and as already stated above, if these carbs go unused, they will be converted into fat, and more weight gain.

    That is everything one needs to know, if they want to prevent becoming obese.  Not that “counting calories” bullshit that the mainstream media shoves down people’s thoats.

  • Even if it doesn’t change my behaviour (I’m going to order my usual regardless) I still want to know what’s in it and how caloric it is. Should be transparent

  • The methodology is flawed. Just because I don’t reduce my caloric intake at a restaurant doesn’t mean I didn’t reduce my overall caloric intake for the entire day.

  • The fact that people still order the same amount of food, doesn’t mean it didn’t work. 
    I personally go to a fastfood restaurant because I want to eat fastfood. I know already that it’s not healthy and has a lot of calories. If I didn’t want that, then I would not go to the fastfood restaurant to begin with.
    When I see calories on the menu, I know how much I ate and therefore I know how many calories I ate too much. I compensate that amount later on the day or the next day… So it actually DOES work for me, because I have more precise information about how much I eat and I will compensate that amount at a different time. 
    If I don’t have information about how much I ate, then I don’t know how much ‘too much’ I ate and it’s more difficult to compensate the calories for me.

  • No one should need “research” to realize that counting calories is a distraction, and absolute bullshit.  Calories are the measurement of energy that is contained in a given amount of food.  It doesn’t matter what the calorie distribution is between the different nutrients, the number of calories will give NO indication as to how exactly a particular food will affect one’s metabolism and/or if they will gain weight or not.

    Any and all “convenience” foods will be high in something that will make you gain weight.  And any ready-made meal one buys outside, will most likely have everything that will make you gain weight.  You wanna eat a pizza/burger/sub, and have let’s say, ice cream for dessert?  Besides the fact that excess pizza consumption is just asking for heart disease, all three of those are extremely high in sodium, fat, and, carbs.  Excess sodium dehydrates the body, and makes people retain extra water weight.  Consuming a high amount of saturated fat is bad for two reasons: 1) saturated fat is the type that solidifies in the body, and 2) fat is used by the body LAST, for energy. and carbs are used first.  Carbs are the first and primary source of energy for the body, but unused carbs are converted into fat, which, needless to say, will make you gain weight.  Finally, sugars are broken down into carbs, and as already stated above, if these carbs go unused, they will be converted into fat, and more weight gain.

    That is everything one needs to know, if they want to prevent becoming obese.  Not that “counting calories” bullshit that the mainstream media shoves down people’s thoats.

  • IMO, you’re focusing on the wrong outcome. I didn’t really expect much change from customers. I’m interested in how labeling requirements impact the production side of things. I imagine labeling requirements may lead some places to rethink recipe design. If you’re the person coming up with a dish, would label concerns (vs. not having to even consider the calorie count) cause you to make different choices?

  • It helps me, because I can put it in MyFitnessPal for my daily calorie count. But plenty of people just aren’t interested. Yesterday I saw a lady with obvious joint problems you could tell by her crutches and the way she walked, typical osteoarthritis who said “why should I lose weight at my age? I don’t see any reason to.” Sigh.

  • Are there any studies to see if the calorie labeling effected behavior beyond the restaurant?  For instance if I knew my hamburger was 1000 calories, I could cut out something else later in my day to compensate.

  • Could it be the problem is not too much information but unwanted data? If you feed “information” to people who are neither interested nor attentive, you are not giving them any information at all, but just adding to the noise they are trying to filter out.

  • Saying we shouldn’t have labeling because people do not have the willpower or common sense to change their eating habits is like saying we shouldn’t have seat belts in cars because people don’t use them. A minority of people use the labeling to great effect. People that regularly eat fast food, however, are likely not very health conscious, so they are not representative of the entire population.

  • just order one dish you like and eat ’till you’re 3/4 full. maybe get a glass of water with it, not a sugary concoction that can serve as a meal by itself. done. no arbitrary labels needed.

  • Admittedly the only time I pay significant attention to calories is when I’m debating two or more items and can’t decide. I then let the calorie count be the tie breaker.

  • Caliories on menus are not enough. There should be list of all ingredients, epecially toxic. (some food ingredients are treated toxic in EU and freely added to US food)

  • I can say that I have changed what I order thanks to menu labelling. I may walk in with what I want to order, but nearly always I end up cutting back, or swapping out one high calorie food for a lower calorie one.

  • Not sure how big the sample was, but p-values of.06 and.07 are pretty good. However, I am an economics major and we give a bit more leeway lol

  • When I was trying to lose weight, I was very thankful for the calories listed. But I feel if you aren’t dieting, people don’t care.

  • Calorie counts on menus actually help me a lot. But that’s only because I struggle to get enough calories in a day, not because I’m trying to cut calories out of my diet.

  • I am a huge fan of Calorie counts. I am not trying to lose weight and am instead trying to gain weight. When I make anything myself counting Calories is very easy but when I go out to eat I am left with a vacuum instead of any information. From what I understand my locality has recently legislated requirements for Calorie counts and I, personally, cannot wait for this to be fully enacted.

  • Couldn’t this low variance in calorie intake be caused by the high standardization of meals offered by restaurant chains? So let’s say every menu in a McDonalds has between 750 and 1,000 calories. Once I entered a McD I already decided, that I want to eat there and most of the time I have a favorite menu in mind. If this is the 1,000 calories menu I might still order it, because the other options don’t make such a huge difference so I can stick with the one I really want. And even if I change my mind…well, the difference would still be somewhat small.

  • ergh… this video felt like it was missing the biggest picture of all… that people have behaviors and cravings… 
    If I want a burger from McDonalds because I’m CRAVING for one, I’m gonna go get it. I already KNOW that it’s bad for me, yet because I crave it, I’m only human and I’m going to take care of my cravings.
    If I’m already set on my choice, and I arrive at the place, handed info on calories and whatever, I’m still going to order my burger.
    Cravings do not always follow logic (or what’s “best for you”).
    Besides high calorie count, what I find most annoying is the amount you get and prices at restaurants (the sit-down type).
    Depending on the place, sometimes you order something that is more than one servings. So if I get a dinner plate, the food on my plate might actually be worth two meals (and not one).
    I’m trying to eat healthier/better and one of my main problems is portion control (not so much as to what I eat). I need to learn better to control my taste buds and take food home with me rather than eating the whole thing then and there. I personally wish dishes were smaller (WITH smaller prices), but people like more “bang for their buck”… so I guess I’m going to have to try and control myself better… ^^;
    The first sentence of the video got the problem down right: “We’re eating too much”. It’s not always about high calories but the amount we eat.
    (But yea there are a lot of foods in America that have high calories because of preservatives):/

  • and this is why I’m terrified to eat in restaurants and usually order a salad with no dressing, croutons or cheese/meats if I have to eat there. Mostly I’m praying they can’t screw that one up too much with extra calories.

  • This video was very eye opening actually. I always thought that menu labeling at restaurants was extremely effective, but this video has strong evidence that it hasn’t really helped and that blows my mind. Personally, I think menu labeling is really helpful, and has guided me to make better choices at restaurants and fast food places. I don’t understand how its not helping other people, but then again I have always been somewhat health conscious. Other people who have never been conscious are not going to change their behavior because the calories are now posted. Facts don’t change behavior. I would think people would want to better their health, and that menu labeling would help, but we are creatures of habit and it is hard for people to change. I think he made a good point in why the government continues to push this when there is clear and convincing evidence that the research and implementing this isn’t working. Also, i’m confused why companies are still so persistent in waiting to put the calories out there if the research states it doesn’t actually cause people to eat less calories. If the companies aren’t losing any money by this, then why are they still avoiding it? Personally, I would like the calories to stay on the menu because I think its worth the money that it costs the companies to put them out there. The video is stating that it is ineffective for people to better their health, but for me and other people who are health conscious it is actually very helpful.

  • I don’t go out to eat regularly, because it’s expensive… So I could really care less what the calorie count is when I’m kind of spoiling myself already.

  • Great video as always (depressing, but still good).  I think it’s fantastic you’re putting the reference sources in the video, but I don’t think you need to read them outloud.  Might as well trim the video a bit and people can read the text you added if they want more information.

  • I think there should be labeling for those who DO care, like me, because then I have to estimate how many calories I ate instead of having a more accurate figure.

  • I’m tired of hearing about calories. It’s so overrated. Not that caloric intake isn’t important to consider, by it’s much more important to consider actual ingredients and making sure we have a good balance of the right ingredients and don’t over indulge on the less healthy ingredients. The only people that really need to consider calories are those watching their weight or trying to lose weight… IN COMBINATION with balanced and healthy food ingredients. Eating less calories does NOT mean you are eating healthy, just that you’re eating less.

  • If I was to eat the recommended calorie intake I would put on a lot of weight. I’m 5ft 10in and 70kg and I survive on around 1200 calories a day. If I was to eat about 800 more calories, well that wouldn’t be good

  • I use menu labelling to make sure I always get as many calories as possible. I feel cheated. They probably did not give me all the calories I ordered.

  • I’m pretty healthy and have McDonalds once every 4-6 months probably, usually later at night after a few drinks.

    I like to divide the calories of a burger by its price to try and find the most calories per dollar, then jam my face full of that food. Efficiency!

  • Personally, menu labeling sets off  ED symptoms for me. It DOES make me order less calories, because it scares me. 
    In addition, it’s more likely for me to change what I’d order from a meal and water, to a (calorie containing) drink and side dish, where instead I’d have chosen a meal and water.

  • I don’t go out to eat regularly, because it’s expensive… So I could really care less what the calorie count is when I’m kind of spoiling myself already.

  • Unless I missed something, it seems like there was no real distinction made in any of these studies between people in general and people who have a goal of trying to lose weight.

    I live in the NYC area, where labeling is required in most restaurants.  Until about a year ago, I didn’t really care about my weight. As a result, I basically ignored the calorie counts.  I would sometimes even use them to find a high calorie food when I was particularly hungry.

    About a year ago, I started watching my weight through calorie counting.  Being able to just look at the menu, rather than having to estimate or try search for the food online has been very helpful and I wish more restaurants provided the information right up on the menu.  I can also think of many instances where I specifically avoided a food, or ate only part of a food item that I would have otherwise finished, because I knew how many calories were in it.

    That being said, I am concerned about the studies showing how inaccurate these labels can be..

  • counting calories doesn’t work. people may be eating so much because the food they eat has very little nutritional value and therefore they are actually starving as they continue to gain weight. the body is just trying to get something it can use, it is not as simple as energy in / energy used. the energy in has to be usable for our bodies or it is like we never ate. i was obese. on the 32 flavors diet for most of my life. 7 years ago that changed and i maintain a normal weight. we truly are what we eat.

  • Ok, so the video is spot on and great, but for me, the calorie content of a restaurant is nearly irrelevant, not because I don’t care about my diet or health, but because I don’t frequently eat out and when I do eat out it is usually my “cheat meal” for the week.

    My wondering therefore, is whether any of these studies controlled for the eating habits of the people visiting the restaurants. Those that eat out frequently might behave differently than those who eat out infrequently. I wouldn’t guess that the data would be too different, considering the original studies likely contained both sets of individuals, but I’m still curious.

    Additionally, laws that mandate labeling of certain things, calories in a restaurant being one of them, are created from a belief that people will ACT better if only they are able to be educated on what the best action is. Long decades of experience with this belief has contradicted this conclusion. People still make unwise decisions; some unwise decisions have increased (teen pregnancy cough) despite information campaigns to change behavior.

    Human behavior is a hard thing to change after all. Our behavior is learned, conditioned, or derived from social structures and values more than arrived at rationally.

  • I think that restaurant menu labeling is more of a consumer rights issue than a health issue.  We should do it because people have a right to know what they put in their mouths.

  • the studies done at McDonald’s:
    I don’t think anyone of the participants went to McDonald’s while caring about calorie intake, heck they might have thought ‘hey! more calories per buck, what a deal!’

  • Wow my heart is (probably quite literally soon) broken. I have been putting cascadian farm oats and honey granola in my yogurt every morning for so many months! My mom buys it and she’s so adamant about health that I just figured it was healthy.

  • Speak for yourself. I greatly appreciate calorie labels and follow them religiously. I like to have peace of mind about what I ordered and I enter it into MyFitnessPal. Of course people won’t care about calorie counts if they don’t give a shit in the first place.

  • IMO, you’re focusing on the wrong outcome. I didn’t really expect much change from customers. I’m interested in how labeling requirements impact the production side of things. I imagine labeling requirements may lead some places to rethink recipe design. If you’re the person coming up with a dish, would label concerns (vs. not having to even consider the calorie count) cause you to make different choices?

  • Would you ever do a show about the surprising and somewhat confusing evidence concerning the impact of alcohol use on immune function? Or a comparison of the neurological impacts of various drugs?

  • Love the vids but I think I can see a universal flaw in all of the studies mentioned in this clip. For instance let me use myself as an example. I count my calories and still order what would be considered excessive calories when I go out to eat but then with that knowledge of how many calories I consumed (thanks to menu items having that info) I curtail my consumption during the rest of the day or following days. Why are the calories consumed at the restaurant considered the end point for all of these studies? I think having caloric info on menus is very helpful in combating obesity but these studies use an inappropriate endpoint

  • It helps me, because I can put it in MyFitnessPal for my daily calorie count. But plenty of people just aren’t interested. Yesterday I saw a lady with obvious joint problems you could tell by her crutches and the way she walked, typical osteoarthritis who said “why should I lose weight at my age? I don’t see any reason to.” Sigh.

  • I am on a diet and have been for about 18 months and I have successfully lost 15kg. I am angry at these studies! Most people don’t care about their calories most of the time. The calorie labels are for those people who do care about their calories. You have measured how everyone responds to calorie counts but you should have measured people seriously committed to a diet who have already lost weight but have more to loose. I feel confident those people would respond to calorie labelling. I quite simply do not eat a restaurants now I do because I don’t know how many calories (or sodium) is in the food I am eating but my scales assure me it must have been a lot every time I have visited a restaurant.

  • This is far from anything substantiated, but instead heavily anecdotal, but I find it humorous.

    When I go to sit down joints that have a section of ‘healthy’ dishes, that often contain foods my mates would often eat both at home or at other places that just don’t list them in a healthy section, they scoff at the healthy marketing and proclaim “I didn’t come to insert food establishment for something ‘healthy’, I came for something filling!”

    This is despite the ‘healthy’ options being things like a steak, mac-cheese, and boiled broccoli. Personally one of my favourite dishes, and a dish I often would cook for these people at home… followed by proclimations of how much they love it and don’t know why they haven’t had it in ages. “Man… last time I had this was my gramma’s house… why don’t I eat this more often?”

  • I don’t want to be given advice and information I want to be told precisely what to do.  Where are my giant economy sized packs of government sanctioned nutriglop “the only food you’ll ever need.” Giving me thousands of different choices just gives me thousands of ways to get it wrong.

  • 2 points.

    1. when I saw how much calories were in my average chipotle order, I stopped going to chipitle nearly as much. I still order the same thing every time I go, but I go less often, thus decreasing caloric intake.

    2. When I go eat out, I don’t change how much I eat at the restaurant, I just compensate for the extra calories in my remaining meals

    I support caloric info on menus

  • Unless I missed something, it seems like there was no real distinction made in any of these studies between people in general and people who have a goal of trying to lose weight.

    I live in the NYC area, where labeling is required in most restaurants.  Until about a year ago, I didn’t really care about my weight. As a result, I basically ignored the calorie counts.  I would sometimes even use them to find a high calorie food when I was particularly hungry.

    About a year ago, I started watching my weight through calorie counting.  Being able to just look at the menu, rather than having to estimate or try search for the food online has been very helpful and I wish more restaurants provided the information right up on the menu.  I can also think of many instances where I specifically avoided a food, or ate only part of a food item that I would have otherwise finished, because I knew how many calories were in it.

    That being said, I am concerned about the studies showing how inaccurate these labels can be..

  • counting calories doesn’t work. people may be eating so much because the food they eat has very little nutritional value and therefore they are actually starving as they continue to gain weight. the body is just trying to get something it can use, it is not as simple as energy in / energy used. the energy in has to be usable for our bodies or it is like we never ate. i was obese. on the 32 flavors diet for most of my life. 7 years ago that changed and i maintain a normal weight. we truly are what we eat.

  • I’m going to offer a few different counter-points that weren’t addressed by this video based on my anecdotal experience:

    1)Culture change takes time. I remember when I first started seeing calorie counts in some restaurants, I didn’t pay much attention because the numbers meant little to nothing to me. I had little to compare them to, and didn’t know how many calories I should have on a daily basis. However, once I became slightly more health conscious, I remember being amazed by the calorie counts. There are so many different items that are astoundingly bad for you that I never would have guessed. It was incredibly beneficial to me in my dieting path, but you may not have picked up on any changes I made during one of those studies because…

    2)Having calorie counts at restaurants made me less likely to eat at certain restaurants, not necessarily choose the healthier option at the restaurant. I used to love to eat at Taco Bell. It’s cheap, I like the taste, and I figured that the bean burritos I got weren’t that much worse for me than anything I could make at home. However, once I found out the actual calorie counts of certain items, I realized how many more calories I was eating than I thought, and now I only go there if it’s a cheat day. Meaning I’ll eat there less frequently, but when I do, I’m more likely to eat an additional hundred calories or so.

    3)When I am tracking calories and I eat out, even if I don’t choose the healthier option, the calorie counts still help me. This is because I now know that I just ate 1200 calories for lunch and will make sure to have a light dinner.

    Obesity is such a huge issue in the United States, that when you take into account the medical expense, lost productivity and loss of quality of life, anything that helps in reducing calorie intake by a fraction of a percent will still pay huge dividends. If it’s costly to businesses, subsidize it. If they aren’t posting true calorie counts, enforce it. If there’s a large range in what might be served as a serving, put the range on the menu. Because there won’t be enough studies of sufficient scope and rigor to prove that calorie counts are effective in any form at reducing weight for many years to come. And without that proof that they aren’t effective, the guess that they should be is enough to warrant almost any reasonable cost spent on it.

  • Ok, so the video is spot on and great, but for me, the calorie content of a restaurant is nearly irrelevant, not because I don’t care about my diet or health, but because I don’t frequently eat out and when I do eat out it is usually my “cheat meal” for the week.

    My wondering therefore, is whether any of these studies controlled for the eating habits of the people visiting the restaurants. Those that eat out frequently might behave differently than those who eat out infrequently. I wouldn’t guess that the data would be too different, considering the original studies likely contained both sets of individuals, but I’m still curious.

    Additionally, laws that mandate labeling of certain things, calories in a restaurant being one of them, are created from a belief that people will ACT better if only they are able to be educated on what the best action is. Long decades of experience with this belief has contradicted this conclusion. People still make unwise decisions; some unwise decisions have increased (teen pregnancy cough) despite information campaigns to change behavior.

    Human behavior is a hard thing to change after all. Our behavior is learned, conditioned, or derived from social structures and values more than arrived at rationally.

  • I believe there is some flaws in the studies being reference.
    When doing this research did they take in to consideration people actively trying to lose weight.
    I am in this catagory. Over the past year I have been dieting and have completely changed my eating habits, but I still like eating out. I have found there are many items on menus that seem healthy but are not. An example Applebee’s Shrimp and spinach salad, sounds healthy right? It has 1000 calories. I don’t eat those.
    Another thing these studies missed are people who stopped eating at places like Mcdonalds. I am in this catagory as well. Once seeing the nutritional info and knowing how bad that food is I stopped eating there. McDonalds may some healthy chooses, like a fruit cup or something, but if I want a piece of fruit I can that get at a grocery store. For me I veiw going in to McDonalds and trying to get healthy food is like send a recovering alcholic into a bar for water.
    You may think nutritional info on menu is not helpful, but for me having that imformation is very helpful and I’ve lost 95 lbs so far.