Start Date: February 2016

ID #: 73393

Principal Investigator: Christina Roberto, PhD

Organization: University of Pennsylvania

Funding Round: Round 9

See more related research


This study will develop and evaluate ways to increase the impact of restaurant menu labeling among parents buying food for their children to address concerns that restaurant calorie labeling laws have not been as influential as they could be. The goals of this project are to emplore how parents respond to restaurant calorie labeling and whether labeling can be augmented with a messaging campaign to promote lower-calorie purchases among parents and children, using ofcus groups, shop-along interviews, and experimental research. The project aims are to: 1) examine parents’ understanding and use of current restaurant calorie labels; 2) develop supplemental messaging for calorie labeling; and 3) test supplemental messaging for calorie labeling that could be presented on a restaurant menu, inside a restaurant, or through a public service campaign to improve understanding and use of calorie information among parents. Participants will include parenst with varying levels of education who have children age 6 to 12 who regularly eat at chain restaurants with their children. Message themes and total restaurant food calories ordered by parents for themselves and their children will be measured and knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions related to the messages tested.

Related Research

May 2021

Messages Promoting Healthy Kids’ Meals: An Online RCT

Calorie labeling is now required on all large U.S. chain restaurant menus, but its influence on consumer behavior is mixed. This study examines whether different parent-targeted messages encourage parents to order lower-calorie meals for their children in a hypothetical online setting. An online RCT was conducted with primary caregivers of children aged 6–12 years. Participants More

November 2020

A Qualitative Study of Parents With Children 6 to 12 Years Old: Use of Restaurant Calorie Labels to Inform the Development of a Messaging Campaign

U.S. law mandates that chain restaurants with 20 or more locations post calorie information on their menus to inform consumers and encourage healthy choices. This study aimed to better understand parents’ perceptions and use of calorie labeling and the types of messages that might increase use. Researchers conducted 10 focus groups (n = 58) and More

November 2023

Understanding the Chasm in the Diffusion of Online Food Benefit Ordering: A Service Ecosystem Approach

Although consumers used online grocery shopping more frequently to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus during the pandemic, the participants of some federal nutrition assistance programs lacked the option to redeem their food benefits online. Some retailers were pilot-testing online food benefit ordering for the participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, More