Michele Polacsek publishes article about calorie counts for prepared foods in JAMA

Michele Polacsek is a co-author of a new article published in 'The BMJ'
Michele Polacsek, Ph.D., M.P.H.

An article co-authored by Michele Polacsek, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of public health and director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Public Health, was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The article, “Assessment of Calories Purchased After Calorie Labeling of Prepared Foods in a Large Supermarket Chain,” discusses research to answer the question of whether calorie labeling of prepared foods in supermarkets is associated with changes in calories purchased in prepared foods and potential packaged substitutes. 

The publication describes a longitudinal study of 173 supermarkets followed from 2015 to 2017.

The study found that calories purchased in prepared bakery items declined by 5.1% after labeling, and calories purchased in prepared deli items declined by 11.0% after labeling, adjusted for pre-labeling trends and changes in control foods. No changes were observed among prepared entrées and sides, and calories purchased in similar packaged items did not increase after labeling. 

“Calorie labeling of prepared supermarket foods was associated with overall small declines in calorie content of prepared foods without substitution to similar packaged foods,” Polacsek explained.

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