When restaurant menus list calories, parents will limit how much fast food their kids eat, a new report suggests.
But parents don’t restrict their own energy intake, according to the report, which joins a growing body of work on the effects of menu labeling.
For the study, researchers randomly assigned 99 parents of 3- to 6-year-olds to one of two groups. Both were shown McDonald’s-like menus and asked to choose foods for themselves and their kids. However, one group’s menu included the calorie content next to the price for each item.
On average, parents whose menus did not list calories chose a meal of about 670 calories, while those who did have that information chose a meal of 570 calories.