Does showing calorie count sway your
snack choice?

Jodi Latina Reports at WTNH, Channel 8 New Haven, CT that a bill in the Connecticut Legislature would require some chain restaurants to put how many calories a food item has right on the menu has passed a legislative committee, but would it really matter to you? We put some News Channel 8 staff members to the test.

Watch the News Report that aired on Tuesday

Many people said they like the idea of seeing the calorie count because it would help them make healthy food choices.

We drove through some popular fast food joints to see how much some of the menu favorites were really worth when it came to calories, then we set up our own experiment in the newsroom.

We bought some boxes of assorted Dunkin Donuts and attached a list of how many calories each was worth. On average they have 250 calories.

Some looked quizzically at the list, others debated, but within five minutes a good number of the donuts were gone.

“If I had had my normal breakfast I wouldn’t have eaten the donut, but I did, I ate the donut,” Newsroom Coordinator Jen Piscopo said.

WTNH Internet Producer Rebecca Santillo said the calorie count did not sway her decision.

“I glanced at the calorie counter but I took it anyway,” Santillo said. “I love glazed donuts.”

“If I’m counting calories I’m not going to McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts,” long-time production department member Tom Sgro said. “If I want a salad I’ll eat at home. When I go to McDonald’s for a Big Mac I’m gonna eat it.”

This was just a social experiment, nothing scientific, and everyone was a good sport about it, but it just goes to show that given some information about the food you like may sway your decision. A lot of people passed on the donuts.

The bill before lawmakers in Hartford has a ways to go. If approved, calorie counts may go up on menus at your favorite restaurant by next summer.

Restaurants want a national standard, so the bill may change as it goes through the house.

WTNH Channel 8 New Haven