232172 How does menu labeling influence where consumers purchase food: Evidence from Philadelphia

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH , NYU School of Medicine and NYC Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York, NY
Courtney Abrams, MA , Divisionof General Internal Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Menu labeling, a policy many states and now the federal government have taken up to influence obesity, may change not only the food selections people make within restaurants, but the choice of where to purchase food. To examine this previously ignored impact of labeling, we examined changes in the type and frequency of people's visits to fast food and sit-down restaurants as a result of mandatory menu labeling in Philadelphia chain restaurants. Data were collected through a random digit dial telephone survey in Philadelphia one month before labeling was in place (N=755 pre-labeling) and again three months after. Baltimore, which did not introduce labeling, was used as a comparison (N=787 pre-labeling), for a difference-in-difference design. Post-labeling data is not yet analyzed but will be before the presentation. Before labeling, 55% had eaten fast food in the seven days before the survey; 35% had eaten dinner from a fast food restaurant, 29% lunch, 16% breakfast, and 8% a snack. One quarter of respondents had eaten food from a sit-down chain in the previous week, and the majority (60%) said they ate food prepared at home “most” of the time. Before labeling, 37% had changed how often they ate fast food within the prior three months and 35% had changed the amount or items they ate. We also assess reasons for change. In the presentation, we will examine how the introduction of mandatory labeling influenced where people ate and why for the sample as a whole and multiple subgroups, including the low-income.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Assess how menu labeling in chain restaurants affected the number and type of restaurants frequented by consumers. Identify differences among subgroups in objective #1. Explain why menu labeling affected the number and type of restaurants frequented by consumers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: : I am qualified to present based on my original research in this topic, as well as my past research, funding and publications in this and similar areas.
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.