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Calorie Labels Don't Affect Kids' Fast Food Choices: Study

Calore Labels Don't Affect Kids Food Choices
Are kids making smarter choices? Fat chance. istockphoto

(CBS) Can giving kids detailed information about nutrition help them make good dietary choices? Fat chance.

New research shows that posting the calorie counts of menu items in fast-food restaurants has basically no impact on what teenagers and the parents of younger children choose to order.

The study, published in "International Journal of Obesity," looked at the ordering habits of kids in Newark, N.J. and nearby New York City, which has required fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts since 2008.

"We didn't notice a change in calories purchased before and after labeling, study author Dr. Brian Elbel, an assistant professor at New York University, told Reuters.

Fifty-seven percent of teens in the study reported that they noticed the labels, but only 9% said the labels affected their choice of food.

Nearly three-quarters of the kids said that the main factor in ordering was taste. And for those who advocated calorie postings in the first place, that's sure to leave a bad taste in the mouth.

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