210866 Chain restaurant nutrition labeling: An overview of implementation and evaluation in New York City, Portland/Multnomah County & Seattle/King County

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:30 AM

James Krieger, MD, MPH , Prevention, Public Health - Seattle and King County, Seattle, WA
Myde Boles, PhD , Program Design and Evaluation Services, Multnomah County Health Department, Portland, OR
Nadine L. Chan, PhD, MPH , Assessment, Policy Development, and Evaluation, Public Health - Seattle and King County, Seattle, WA
Tamara Dumanovsky, PhD , Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH , NYU School of Medicine and NYC Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York, NY
Christina Huang, MPH , Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Brian E. Saelens, PhD , Seattle Children's, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Obesity is a major public health issue, in part fueled by excessive caloric intake. The number of meals purchased away-from-home has nearly doubled over the past two decades. Restaurant foods are typically higher in calories than home-cooked meals. Compared to eating at home, children consume about twice as many calories when they eat away-from-home foods. Consumers routinely underestimate the calorie content of menu items, yet information regarding menu item nutritional content is inconsistently available. Limited, although not definitive, evidence suggests that people make more healthful choices when such information is available at the point-of-purchase. The impacts of providing nutrition information on menu item nutritional values and restaurant sales are unknown.

New York City, Portland/Multnomah County and Seattle/King County have implemented regulations requiring chain restaurants to provide nutrition information at the point-of- purchase. At all sites, the regulations cover chain restaurants with at least 15 stores nationally and require that information on calories be available to customers at the point of purchase before ordering. Sites differ regarding method of information display; inclusion of additional information on fat, sodium and carbohydrates; types of foods subject to labeling; and penalties for non-compliance. All sites are implementing a pre-post natural experiment evaluation by collecting data from point-of-purchase surveys on customer awareness and use of nutrition information and on customer purchases. Sample sizes range from 2500 to 11,000 customers. To describe changes in menu items, each site is conducting pre-post menu audits. Additional evaluation methods being used at some sites include population-level surveys on awareness and use, analysis of sales data, assessment of restaurant nutrition environments, and qualitative analysis of regulation implementation and impact.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the highlights of nutrition-labeling regulations in NYC, Portland/Multnomah and Seattle/King County and their differences 2. Compare the similarities and differences across sites in the methods being used to evaluate the impact of the regulations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed, implemented and am evaluating a nutrition labeling regulation in Seattle/King County and have convened a three-site panel to discuss such regulations across sites
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.