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Am J Public Health. 2010 Jun;100(6):1035-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.174839. Epub 2010 Apr 15.

Evaluation of a voluntary menu-labeling program in full-service restaurants.

Author information

1
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 3629 South D St, Mail Stop 011, TacoWA 98418-6813, USA. epulos@tpchd.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed whether labeling restaurant menus with information on the nutrient content of menu items would cause customers to alter their ordering patterns.

METHODS:

Six full-service restaurants in Pierce County, Washington, added nutrition information to their menus, and they provided data on entrée sales for 30 days before and 30 days after the information was added. We assessed the prelabeling versus postlabeling difference in nutrient content of entrées sold, and we surveyed restaurant patrons about whether they noticed the nutrition information and used it in their ordering.

RESULTS:

The average postlabeling entrée sold contained about 15 fewer calories, 1.5 fewer grams of fat, and 45 fewer milligrams of sodium than did the average entrée sold before labeling. Seventy-one percent of patrons reported noticing the nutrition information; 20.4% reported ordering an entrée lower in calories as a result, and 16.5% reported ordering an entrée lower in fat as a result.

CONCLUSIONS:

The concentration of calorie reduction among 20.4% of patrons means that each calorie-reducing patron ordered about 75 fewer calories than they did before labeling. Thus, providing nutrition information on restaurant menus may encourage a subset of restaurant patrons to significantly alter their food choices.

PMID:
20395577
PMCID:
PMC2866595
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.174839
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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