People Don’t Care About Nutrition Facts

Tracking calories at chain restaurants is supposed to become easier for consumers next year. Beginning in December 2016, chain restaurants and certain other retailers that sell prepared food, such as grocery stories, will have to list calorie content on their menus or inventory.

But do consumers really take the calorie count of their fast food burgers and fries in account when ordering? New York University researchers used receipts and surveys at McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s to track customer purchases.

In New York City where menus are labeled, calories per meal averaged between 804 and 839, essentially the same as the 802 to 857 calories at fast-food locations in New Jersey that didn’t post calorie content.

Researchers also reported Monday that just over a third of customers noticed calorie counts on the restaurant chain’s menus last year, compared with about half when the law took effect in 2008, and only about 9% claimed to use them to order fewer calories.

ABC’s Scott Goldberg joined us from New York.