Dublin Senator and Fine Gael candidate for Dublin West, Catherine Noone, has today (Thursday) called for calorie counts on menus to be made mandatory in all take-away fast food outlets.
“Earlier this week I called for compulsory calorie counts on restaurant menus, after such a low voluntary take-up of the scheme. Today I’m extending that call to take-aways.
“I would also like to reject claims that have been made that calorie counts on menus will affect businesses.
“In 2011 Stanford Business School conducted research on Starbucks where calorie counts were implemented and found that revenues were not affected by the calorie-posting requirement. In fact, the study showed that for Starbucks stores located within 50 meters of a competitor, calorie-postings led to an increase in revenue.
“Moreover, form a purely health point of view, the same study showed that calories per transaction fell by 26%.
“Opponents of calorie-posting laws have argued that nutritional information is already available (for example, on restaurants’ websites, or on placemats or brochures in the store) and that most consumers don’t make decisions based on calorie counts. However research has found that 95% of consumers in Ireland do want the calorie posting and the researchers at Stanford found that this does affect consumer behaviour.
“The recent Healthy Ireland survey showed that 60% of Irish people are overweight. Calorie posting on menus is a tried and tested way of changing consumer behaviour and is in fact very effective.”
Note: Study mentioned: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/researchers-how-does-posting-calories-affect-behavior