Nutritional labelling on menus in restaurants and cafes may reduce our calorie intake, according to new Cochrane Review evidence

New evidence published in the Cochrane Library shows that adding calorie labels to menus and next to food in restaurants, coffee shops and cafeterias, could reduce the calories that people consume, although the quality of evidence is low.

Several studies have looked at whether putting nutritional labels on food and non-alcoholic drinks might have an impact on their purchasing or consumption, but their findings have been mixed. Now, a team of Cochrane researchers, led by Professor Theresa Marteau and Dr Gareth Hollands at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU), has brought together the results of studies evaluating the effects of nutritional labels on purchasing and consumption in a systematic review.

Professor Theresa Marteau said: “This evidence suggests that using nutritional labelling could help reduce calorie intake and make a useful impact as part of a wider set of measures aimed at tackling obesity.”

Read the Cochrane review

Professor Susan Jebb and Professor Theresa Marteau discuss the findings of this Cochrane Review in The Conversation.


Media queries: Craig Brierley, Research Communications, University of Cambridge