Researchers from the psychology department at Yale University hung out in a handful of fast-food eateries (McDonald's, Burger King, Au Bon Pain and Starbucks) keeping an eye on customers' behavior. Of 4,311 people they observed, only six looked at the nutrition information provided by the restaurant, whether it appeared on a poster, in a pamphlet or on a special touch-screen computer.
The authors of the study, which appears in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health, say their findings suggest that nutrition information needs to be made more prominent, even added to menu boards. Moves are afoot in Maryland and several other states to require chain restaurants to provide nutrition data; restaurants argue that that information is already available by request at restaurants and on their Web sites.
-- Jennifer Huget
It's not as if most people don't already know that fast food is bad for you, even if they don't know the statistics. The only people likely to make use of the information are those who are curious for curiosity's sake or those who have already decided on getting a salad and want to feel self-righteous.