Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 368–375 | Cite as

Point-of-Purchase Calorie Labeling Has Little Influence on Calories Ordered Regardless of Body Mass Index

  • Sarah Litman Rendell
  • Charles SwencionisEmail author


The obesity epidemic has incited legislation aimed to inform consumers of the nutritional value of food items available in restaurants and fast food establishments, with the presumption that knowing the caloric content in a meal might enable patrons to make healthier choices when ordering. However, available research shows mixed results regarding consumers’ use of calorie information to promote healthier purchases. The aim of this study was to determine whether menu type, specifically having viewed a menu with calorie disclosures or not, would have an impact on how many calories were in a lunch meal ordered by a patron. Additionally, we sought to identify body mass index (BMI) as a moderator of the relationship between viewing a menu with or without calorie information and the number of calories an individual orders for lunch. Two hundred forty-five adults participated in the study and completed the questionnaire. Results indicated neither menu type, nor reporting having seen calorie information, was significantly related to the number of calories in the foods that participants ordered, even after controlling demographic variables age, sex, income, education, race/ethnicity, and BMI. BMI did not serve as a moderator in the relationship between menu type and food calories ordered. Implications for policy change and clinical work with overweight and obese patients are discussed.


Obesity Calorie labeling Body mass index Health care reform Menu 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Sarah Litman Rendell and Charles Swencionis declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ferkauf Graduate School of PsychologyYeshiva UniversityBronxUSA
  2. 2.Epidemiology/Population Health and Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of MedicineYeshiva UniversityBronxUSA

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