According to numerous independent studies, the posted calorie counts now required at the city's chain restaurants have little impact on the eating habits of most adults and teenagers, with some adults ordering more calories than they would before the rule went into effect. But according to unreleased data from the city's Health Department, the calorie counts sort of help sometimes. The Department tells us, "The two main points are that our new research shows that the 15% of fast-food patrons in the city who use the information eat an average of 106 fewer calories than those who don't see or ignore the calorie content." The other 85% just want their Shamrock Shakes.
City officials say that 100 calories a day is enough to theoretically lose 7.5 pounds in a year. Cathy Nonas, a director of physical activity and nutrition programs in the health department, told Crain's, “If this became federal law, it would affect a huge number of people who want to be conscious about their calories." The study, which reviewed 12,000 receipts from city fast-food restaurants since 2009, is currently being peer-reviewed for possible publication. However, small business lobbyist Richard Lipsky said the numbers are too small to really say they make a difference. "They should be taken with a grain of salt," he said. “No pun intended." Don't worry, Bloomberg wouldn't let us anyway.