Reuters reports that Yale University researchers have found that a large majority of fast food patrons almost never look at the nutrition information provided by the establishment.
And my response to that would be, tell us something we didn’t know. While I applaud fast food restaurants for putting healthier items on their menu, when people go there, they are thinking about the greasy fries and burgers, not about a salad. I can’t imagine an inner dialog trying to figure out whether I should get a Whopper, or just a cheeseburger? Nah, when people commit to stepping through those front doors, they are going to indulge.
Christina A. Roberto and her colleagues from Yale surveyed 4311 people buying food at McDonald’s, Burger King, Au Bon Pain, or Starbucks and noted that only six of them, or one-tenth of one percent, took advantage of the available nutrition information while ordering.
You can imagine my surprise when I got to the point in the story where Roberto says why this is happening.
“The way it’s offered now is just not an effective way to disseminate that kind of information to the public,” she said. The study suggests that fast food restaurants need to locate such information in a “really highly visible place, like on a menu board.” (New York is currently doing this.)
This is probably true. But then again, I tend to think that even if it was right in front of people’s eyes at the register, their eyes would still wander up to the alluring photos of burgers and fries.
April 2nd, 2009