Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low-calorie restaurant menus: Are they making us fat?

Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Depending on our food cravings, the number of items served, and even the time of day, ordering a meal at a restaurant often requires a “narrowing down” decision making process. According to a new study, restaurants that now provide “low-calorie” labels on their menus can inadvertently cause people to eliminate healthy foods right off the bat.

Depending on our food cravings, the number of items served, and even the time of day, ordering a meal at a restaurant often requires a "narrowing down" decision making process. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, restaurants that now provide "low-calorie" labels on their menus can inadvertently cause people to eliminate healthy foods right off the bat.

Related Articles


"Because most restaurant menus are quite complex -- offering numerous dishes composed of multiple ingredients -- diners try to simplify their decision. People have come to expect low-calorie food to taste bad or not fill them up," write authors Jeffrey R. Parker (Georgia State University) and Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia University). "We propose that by calorie organizing a menu, restaurants make it easier for people to use the general 'low-calorie' label to dismiss all low-calorie options early in the decision process."

In four online studies, the authors asked participants to order food from menus similar to what they might encounter at well-known chain restaurants. Some participants were shown traditional menus that listed available dishes in food-type categories (with no calorie information on the menu). Another set of participants was given the same menus, but with calorie information provided by each dish. A third group was given the calorie-labeled menus with the low-calorie dishes grouped together and given a low-calorie section label.

Study results showed that the participants who were given the traditional menus without any calorie information and the menus with the low-calorie food grouped together ordered food with similar amounts of calories. Interestingly, the participants who ordered from the calorie-labeled (but not grouped) menus ordered meals with fewer calories overall.

"When a menu is calorie posted but not calorie organized, it is less likely that the caloric-content of the dishes will be used as an initial filter for eliminating large portions of the menu," the authors conclude. "For the consumer, this means you are more likely to consider ordering a low-calorie dish and also more likely to eat it too."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jeffrey R. Parker and Donald R. Lehmann. How and When Grouping Low-Calorie Options Reduces the Benefits of Providing Dish-Specific Calorie Information. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2014

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Low-calorie restaurant menus: Are they making us fat?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415112250.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2014, April 15). Low-calorie restaurant menus: Are they making us fat?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415112250.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Low-calorie restaurant menus: Are they making us fat?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415112250.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins