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Restaurants Are Calorie-Shaming Diners on Receipts Now

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Treating yourself to a slice of cheese on your burger, or perhaps indulging in some mayo on your sandwich? Hope you enjoyed it, because Nutricate receipts are coming to guilt trip you about the nutritional decisions you've made. Bloomberg reports that SmartReceipt's Nutricate receipt program — now available at West Coast chains Burgerville and Silvergreens — offers diners a look at the nutritional content of the meal they just ordered, along with advice like "Holding the mayo on your sandwich will save you 150 calories and 10 grams of fat."

The messages are not all negative: some applaud diners for the choices they've made. Messages include congratulations for ordering something other than sugary soda, noting that low-fat milk is a great source of calcium, or encouraging diners to incorporate more fiber into their diets.

According to a study done at the University of California at Santa Barbara that looked at 39 Burgerville locations, the receipts "significantly changed people's choices" when it came to what they ordered. That said, the only specific data cited by Bloomberg was the fact that there was "a 2.1 percent reduction in the average amount of cholesterol" per order. Total calorie counts per order remained unchanged.

How influential can a nutritional warning be that comes after you've already order your food, though? It might be helpful for regulars who know the Nutricate receipt is coming, but can the mere threat of encountering a calorie count make people eat healthier food? Confronting diners with calorie counts before the meal doesn't seem to help, either: it's been shown that calorie counts on menus don't really impact diner choices. Guess the universe is doomed to a future of obesity, good luck everybody.

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· Would You Hold the Mayo If the Receipt Suggested It? [Bloomberg]
· All Receipts Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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