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Can Calorie Labels Increase Caloric Intake

This study has been withdrawn prior to enrollment.
(Funding was pulled after unsuccessful pilot study)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Eric VanEpps, Carnegie Mellon University Identifier:
First received: November 10, 2011
Last updated: May 19, 2015
Last verified: May 2015
This study is a test of possible mechanisms by which calorie labels might lead people to increase calorie intake. The investigators hypothesize that calorie labels might increase calorie intake because 1) people infer that higher calorie foods are tastier, 2) calorie labels invoke thoughts of dieting, leading people to overconsume as a reaction, 3) people try to maximize calories consumed per dollar spent, and 4) calorie labels change one's goal motivation toward food, causing people to eat more.

Condition Intervention
Food Consumption Other: Calorie information Other: No calorie information

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Can Calorie Labels Increase Caloric Intake? A Test of Possible Perverse Effects of Calorie Labels

Further study details as provided by Eric VanEpps, Carnegie Mellon University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Calories consumed [ Time Frame: At time of intervention (30 minutes) ]
    The investigators will assess how many calories are consumed by participants by weighing the cereal provided before and after participants complete the taste test portion of the study. This will happen within 30 minutes of the intervention, which is an experimental manipulation of whether or not calorie labels are present.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Attitudes toward food [ Time Frame: At time of intervention (30 minutes) ]
    Using survey measures, the investigators will assess how people feel toward the food item they just tasted, rating it in terms of perceived tastiness, healthiness, overall quality, and value. These ratings will be on a Likert scale from 1-5.

Enrollment: 0
Study Start Date: November 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Calorie label Other: Calorie information
Nutrition label featuring calorie information will be provided.
Active Comparator: No calorie label Other: No calorie information
No nutrition label will be provided in this condition.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Must be able to taste items used in study

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Food allergies to items used in study
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01473225

United States, Pennsylvania
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
Sponsors and Collaborators
Carnegie Mellon University
Principal Investigator: Eric M VanEpps, BA Carnegie Mellon University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Eric VanEpps, Principal Investigator, Carnegie Mellon University Identifier: NCT01473225     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: P30AG034546 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: November 10, 2011
Last Updated: May 19, 2015 processed this record on September 21, 2017