Analyzing the impact of the New York City calorie labeling regulation

The Foundation's program, Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity, was designed to support investigator-initiated research to identify and assess environmental and policy influences with the greatest potential to improve healthy eating and weight patterns among the nation's children.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 for reporting that calorie information affected their purchase. Subgroup analyses, as appropriate, will include demographics, chain and calorie information posting mode.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $99,868.00

Awarded on: 2/5/2009

Time frame: 3/15/2009 - 12/31/2009

Grant Number: 65839


New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

125 Worth Street, CN 28
New York, 10013-4006


Tamara Dumanovsky
Project Director