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.
Trends in the Energy Content of Fast-Food Restaurant Menu Offerings
Consumer Underestimation of Sodium in Fast Food Restaurant Meals: Results From a Cross-Sectional Observational Study
Restaurants are key venues for reducing sodium intake in the United States but little is known about consumer perceptions of sodium in restaurant foods. This study aimed to fill this gap by examining the accuracy of consumer estimates of sodium in restaurant meals. In 2013 and 2014, meal receipts and … More
Improving Menu Labeling by Restaurants to Better Guide Parents in Helping Their Children Make Healthy Food Selections
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 … More
Drawing from a larger study on restaurant nutrition, this cross-sectional study reports on the sodium density of 30,073 menu items from 237 unique U.S. chain restaurant brands in 2010. Sodium density, defined as mg sodium per 1000 kcal, was evaluated with descriptive statistics and stratified by restaurant characteristics (service model … More