Surprise! People Are Eating Even More After Mandatory Calorie Counts

That’s the shocking conclusion from this study in the journal Health Affairs. Despite the trendiness of the power of the “nudge” — a little cue that help people make better decisions — it turns out that calorie labelling on food items just doesn’t work. In fact, average portion size has gone up. One positive is that there is a subset of the population that did respond to the calorie counts and reduced their intake — however we’d bet that this group corresponds closely with people who are already slim and health conscious. Just a guess.

As we’ve argued, calorie counts can be harmful if it reinforces the idea that the count is the end-all and be-all of healthy eating, without regards for nutritional content. (via Mother Jones and Tyler Cowen)

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