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.

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

How are low/er strength wine and beer products marketed online?

Our study compared the main marketing messages conveyed by retailers and producers for low/er and regular strength wine and beer products in the UK.

We found that compared with regular strength wines and beers, low/er strength products were more often marketed in association with occasions deemed to be suitable for their consumption including lunchtimes, outdoor events/barbeques, or on sports and fitness occasions.

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Does placing unhealthy snacks further away reduce the likelihood of consumption?

In two studies, we found that people are less likely to take chocolates when they are placed an extra 50cm away. This effect seemed to work similarly regardless of a person’s current level of self-control.

This shows that placing unhealthy food further away may be a simple but effective way to reduce the likelihood of consuming these snacks.

Effect of snack-food proximity on intake in general population samples with higher and lower cognitive resource. Hunter, Hollands, Couturier, Marteau, 2018.

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Raising cost of sugary drinks could lead to an increase in consumption of alcoholic beverages

The UK Government levy on sugary drinks producers starts in April 2018. This will potentially influence the cost of a large range of non-alcoholic beverages. Our new study (published 23rd January 2018) looks at how increasing the price of non-alcoholic drinks could influence purchases of alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and cider, in supermarkets. We found that increasing the price of sugary drinks could increase purchases of lager while increases in the price of diet drinks could increase purchases of beer, cider and wines. Read more about the varying spillover effects of increasing the price of sugary drinks here.

Effect of increasing the price of sugar-sweetened beverages on alcoholic beverage purchases: an economic analysis of sales data. Quirmbach DD, Cornelsen L, Jebb SA, Marteau T, Smith R. (2018)

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