Past studies about whether nutritional labels on restaurant menu items influence food and drink purchases have produced mixed results. Now, a review published by the Cochrane Library suggests listing nutritional information could actually help reduce caloric intake.
In a systematic review of three studies in which calorie labels were added to menus or put next to food items, the researchers found that consumers typically reduced calorie intake by about 8 percent. Results from eight other studies performed in artificial or laboratory settings did not show a connection between calorie labels and food consumption. But when the researchers discounted five of these studies that had potential flaws in their methodology, the remaining three studies suggested that calorie labels reduced consumption by about 12 percent per meal.