Objective: To examine food decision-making priorities for restaurant-type foods at grocery stores and determine whether adding calorie information, as required by federal menu labeling laws, affected decision-making priorities. Design: Natural experiment: intervention and control groups with baseline and follow-up. Setting: Regional grocery store chain with 9 locations. Participants: Participants (n = 393; mean age, 54.8 ± 15.1 years) were primarily women (71%) and Caucasian (95%). Intervention: Data were collected before and after calorie information was added to restaurant-type foods at 4 intervention locations. Main Outcome Measure(s): Primary influencers of food selection decision making for restaurant-type foods and frequency of use of nutrition information. Analysis: Quantitative analysis examined the top 3 influencers of food selections and chi-square goodness of fit test determined whether the calorie labeling intervention changed food decision-making priorities. Qualitative data were used to describe responses. Results: Taste, cost, and convenience were the most frequently reported influencers of restaurant-type food selections; 20% of participants rated calories as influential. Calorie labeling did not affect food selection decision making; 16% of participants in intervention stores noticed calorie labels. Qualitative explanations confirmed these findings. Conclusions and Implications: Menu labeling laws increase access to calorie information; however, use of this information is limited. Additional interventions are needed to encourage healthier restaurant-type food selections in grocery stores.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics