Menu Math

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Ever wondered whether the inclusion of nutritional information (calories and macronutrient figures) on restaurant menus helps people eat better? A study released in late 2013 says it most certainly does. Researchers from the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia surveyed more than 600 individuals who had eaten at large chain restaurants, some with labeled nutritional info on the menus, some without. The patrons eating at the labeled restaurants, the researchers found, ate meals with 151 fewer calories, 224 milligrams less sodium and 3.7 grams less saturated fat, on average, than those dining at establishments without such info on menus. Twenty-six percent of all people who dined at labeled restaurants said they used the nutritional facts to help decide what to order; these individuals consumed a whopping 400 fewer calories per meal than those who ignored the food facts.