Start Date: February 2013

ID #: CAS011

Organization: University of Minnesota

Project Lead: Lisa Harnack, DrPH, MPH, RD

See more related research


A number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of calorie labeling on consumer food choices. In contrast, very little is known about whether and how restaurant menu offerings may change in response to calorie labeling. To address this knowledge gap, investigators assembled a dataset to examine trends in the nutritional quality of menu offerings at eight leading fast food restaurants between 1997 and 2010. This dataset has been analyzed to examine trends in the energy content and the overall nutritional quality of menu offerings. In addition, trends in the sodium and trans fatty acid content of menu offerings have been examined. This research project expanded the utility of this dataset by: 1) updating the dataset to include menu information for an additional two years (2011-2012) for the eight restaurant chains currently in the dataset (Arby’s, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s), and 2) expanding the dataset to include an additional seven restaurant chains (Chick-fil-A, Church’s Chicken, Hardee’s, Long John Silver’s, Sonic, Taco John’s, and White Castle). Menu data from 2009-2012 was added to the dataset for these additional restaurants. In addition, using the assembled dataset the nutritional quality of menu offerings at McDonald’s pre and post that chain’s voluntary implementation of nationwide calorie labeling was examined.

Related Research

April 2022

A click too far from fresh foods: A mixed methods comparison of online and in-store grocery behaviors among low-income households

A recent policy in the U.S. authorized monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be used online to increase grocery access and promote healthy eating. This study examined online grocery attitudes and purchasing behaviors among low-income SNAP-eligible households with young children with and without online grocery experience. An explanatory sequential mixed methods More

April 2022

Food Marketing Practices of Major Online Grocery Retailers in the United States, 2019-2020

Food marketing influences consumers’ preferences for and selection of marketed products. Although a substantial body of research has described food-marketing practices in brick-and-mortar stores, no research has examined food marketing in online grocery retail despite its growing importance as a source of food-at-home purchases. This study aimed to develop and apply a coding instrument to More

April 2022

Nutrition-related claims lead parents to choose less healthy drinks for young children: a randomized trial in a virtual convenience store

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit drinks, contributes to childhood obesity. We aimed to examine whether nutrition-related claims on fruit drinks influence purchasing among parents and lead to misperceptions of healthfulness. We conducted an experiment in a virtual convenience store with 2219 parents of children ages 1-5 y. Parents were randomly assigned to view fruit More