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This study evaluated three menu nutrition labeling formats: calorie only information, a healthy symbol, and a nutrient list. Daily sales data for a table-service restaurant located on a university campus were recorded during a four-week period from January to February 2013 to examine changes in average nutritional content of the entrees purchased by customers when different nutrition labels were provided. A survey was conducted to assess the customers’ use of nutrition labels, their preferences among the three labeling formats, their entree selections, their cognitive beliefs with regard to healthy eating, and their demographic characteristics. A total of 173 questionnaires were returned and included in data analysis. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and regression analyses were performed using SAS. The results showed that favorable attitudes toward healthy eating and the use of nutrition labels were both significantly associated with healthier entrée selections. Age and diet status had some effects on the respondent’s use of nutrition labels. The calorie only information format was the most effective in reducing calories contained in the entrees sold, and the nutrient list was most effective in reducing fat and saturated fat content of the entrees sold. The healthy symbol was the least effective format, but interestingly enough, was most preferred by respondents. The findings provide support for future research and offer implications for policy makers, public health professionals, and foodservice operations.
Ge, Li; Behnke, Carl; and Almanza, Barbara
"An Evaluation of Three Nutrition Labeling Formats for Restaurant Menus,"
Hospitality Review: Vol. 31
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/hospitalityreview/vol31/iss3/6