Learning thru Labeling

Can more prominent labeling lead to lower-calorie food selections?  According to this study in PEDIATRICS it may, at least for parents selecting fast-food meals for their toddlers.

In the experiment, two groups of parents who regularly frequented fast food restaurants were asked to select their meals from a McDonald’s menu.  One group’s menu had nutritional information provided, the other did not.

The group that was provided with nutrition data selected meals for their 3-6 year-old children that averaged slightly over 100 fewer calories than the control group.  This is a significant reduction; an extra 100 calories per day can adds up to  10 lb. of weight gain per year.

One interesting note is that while parents were seemingly interested in making smarter choices for their children, the provided data did not cause them to alter their own meal selections.  There was no difference in the calorie count of the  meals that the adults selected for themselves.

As parents we all want “better” for our children, and clearer labeling would obviously help.  But in the long run, if we are unwilling to set a good example ourselves, it seems doubtful that our kids will learn to make better choices.


Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s