Few Customers Read Nutritional Information In Fast Food Restaurants
More prominent displays may be needed to help increase consumer awareness of nutritional information in fast food restaurants, according to an observational study from Yale University that appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers visited McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks and Au Bon Pain restaurants in both urban and suburban settings. They counted the number of customers who read on-premises nutritional information which was available on posters, pamphlets or computer terminals in the restaurants.
Of the more than 4,311 patrons observed, only six (0.1 percent) sought out the nutritional information available in the restaurants prior to making a purchase.
"Clear calorie information is critical to helping consumers make informed decisions about what they are eating," said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale and an author of the study.
"It is notoriously difficult to estimate the calories in fast food meals. Polls show that consumers want the information and this study shows how they need it in a more prominent and visible place - right on the menus and menu boards."