The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) approved calorie labeling for restaurant chains with 15 or more stores nationally as part of the city’s effort to combat obesity. This regulation requires that calories are posted on menu boards; it is intended to increase prominence of calorie information at point-of-purchase to help consumers make healthier food choices. This requirement may also encourage chains to reformulate menu items, offer healthier items and change promotional materials to emphasize healthier options. This research study will survey adult customers and collect receipts at a random sample of fast-food restaurants after enforcement of calorie labeling regulations. Results from this post-regulation survey will be compared with pre-regulation data collected in the spring of 2007. The target for each of the 275 locations is 50 participants for a total of 13,750 surveys and receipts; for the pre-regulation study, 1,865 surveys and receipts were collected. Survey data will be analyzed to assess changes pre-post regulation in: (1) mean calories purchased overall and by fast food chain, (2) percentage of customers reporting that they saw calorie information, and (3) percentage of customers reporting that calorie information affected their purchase. Subgroup analyses, as appropriate, will include demographics, chain and calorie information posting mode.
Start Date: March 2009
ID #: 65839
Principal Investigator: Tamara Dumanovsky, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator: Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, CDE
Organization: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Funding Round: Rapid-Response Round 1
Changes in Energy Content of Lunchtime Purchases from Fast Food Restaurants After Introduction of Calorie Labelling: Cross Sectional Customer SurveysThis article assesses the impact of fast food restaurant menu labeling on the calorie content of individual lunchtime purchases of customers in New York City. Researchers found that, for the full survey sample, mean calories purchased did not change from before to after regulation. However, three major fast-food chains showed significant reductions in average calories More