Can menu labels prevent obesity? –

Increased consumption of food in places like cafeterias, restaurants and fast-food chains leads to high energy intake, weight gain and hence the risk of obesity. One of the policies that has gained importance globally and nationally in the fight against obesity is the application of menu labels. Ensure healthy food selection. He pointed out the need to raise awareness among consumers and employees to properly evaluate label information.

Hatice Kolak, a research assistant in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Health Sciences at Yuscudar University, emphasized the importance of menu labels that show the nutritional value of food products.

Menu labels enable healthy choices
Research Assistant Hatice Çolak, ‘Menu labels are a health education tool aimed at informing and raising awareness among consumers to ensure healthy food choices, and where energy and nutrition information is shared with consumers through menus or menu signs.’ He went on to say: “Everyday, increasing consumption of food in cafes, restaurants, cafeterias, fast food chains, etc. leads to high energy intake, weight gain and hence the risk of obesity. Thanks to the menu labels, the presentation of energy and nutrition content at food and beverage service points helps consumers make healthier choices. “

Implementing menu labels is becoming commonplace

Çolak said that the food labeling practices offered by a wide range of nutrition service providers and organizations at the international level aim to inform consumers in terms of nutrients such as energy, fat, sodium, protein, allergens or intolerant substances. According to regulations, information on the content of allergens, alcohol and substances that may cause intolerance to unprepared foods sold in bulk eateries, is presented to the end consumers in a clearly readable way through the menu, Whiteboard. , Brochures. Says

Obesity negatively affects quality of life

Hatice Kolak, a research assistant, points out that growing obesity and nutrition-related non-communicable diseases negatively affect quality of life and duration, and goes on to say: These are menu labels that protect the right to information and aim to raise consumer awareness. A study examining the effects of different menu labeling methods on consumers’ favorite foods has found that consumers prefer high-energy content when menus are presented without menu labels. In another study, participants were presented with a menu labeled sodium content, and the choices made by hypertensive participants were found to have low sodium content. “

The amount of energy that can be consumed per day can be reduced

Noting that the percentage of daily needs of a portion of the product served enables consumers to evaluate a portion of the food they choose, Çolak said, “These percentages can also affect the foods eaten after the day. In one study, it was determined that the amount of daily total energy intake could be reduced if energy values ​​were given, as well as the recommended amount of energy for individuals to consume per day. He said.

Consumers need to be made aware

Hatice Kolak, a research assistant, says that the effectiveness of menu labels depends largely on consumer awareness and awareness, and concludes:
“In order to better evaluate the energy content of consumers, the nutritional value should be given on the menu label based on energy and nutritional values ​​as well as 2000 calorie diet. It should also be emphasized that daily needs may vary depending on personal factors. To reduce the indecisiveness of consumers and avoid confusion, menu labels should be divided into the most easily explained format. In addition to all these effects of menu labeling practices that support healthy eating habits, consumers and employees need to be aware to properly evaluate label information. It is important to encourage healthy eating and to provide training on how food choices at home and abroad affect their health. ”

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