Cass Sunstein just posted a really nice write-up of the calorie count research I was lucky enough to conduct with Steven Dallas (now a law student at Duke) and Peggy Liu (a marketing Professor at University of Pittsburgh). Thought I’d give you a flavor of the write-up:
A provision of the Affordable Care Act that is strongly supported by Donald Trump’s administration requires calorie labels at U.S. chain restaurants. The basic idea is that if consumers are informed, they will reduce their calorie consumption — and improve their health.
Unfortunately, it isn’t clear that calorie labels are doing much good. Some studies find that consumers are not influenced by them. They eat what they like, and they don’t care about calories. While other studies do find a real impact on people’s behavior, specialists question whether and to what extent the labels are promoting healthier eating.
New research finds that a small and simple fix might make a big difference: Put the calorie labels on the left side of menu items, rather than the right. That’s an intriguing finding, because it has implications for design choices by the private and public sectors in countless domains.
To read the rest of this piece, please visit Bloomberg.