CALORIE LABELS CAN MAKE YOU RETHINK FOOD CHOICES
Seeing pictures of food with calorie information appears to change the way your brain responds to the food, a study has found.
■ When food images appeared with the calorie content, the brain showed decreased activation of the reward system.
■ The study is first of its kind to examine how your brain makes food choices when calorie information is presented.
■ While dieters and non-dieters alike rated calorie-labelled foods as less appetising, this effect was strongest among dieters.
■ In other words, foods that you might otherwise be inclined to eat became less desirable once the calorie content was displayed.
■ Researchers analysed responses in two brain regions: the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex.
■ Study published in PLOS ONE suggests that dieters may consider calorie information even when it isn't explicitly present.
■ Kristina Rapuano, a Dartmout College student, says in order to motivate people to make healthier food choices, policy changes are needed.