Menu labels displaying the kilocalorie content or the exercise equivalent: Effects on energy ordered and consumed in young adults

Ashlei James, Beverley Adams-Huet, Meena Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose. Determine the effect of menu labels displaying the energy content of food items or the exercise equivalent on energy ordered and consumed at lunch and energy intake for the remainder of the day in young adults. Design. Subjects were randomized to a menu with no labels (no-labels), menu with kilocalorie labels displaying the energy content of the food items (kcal-labels), or menu with exercise labels displaying the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn the food energy (exercise-labels). Setting. The study was conducted in one dining area located in a metabolic kitchen at the Texas Christian University and another located in a residence occupied by graduate students. Subjects. Of the 300 subjects, 55.7% were female, 77.3% were college students, 88% were white, and 88% were non-Hispanic. Mean body mass index and age were 24.2 ± 4.5 kg/m<sup>2</sup> and 21.9 ± 2.3 years, respectively. Intervention. All menus contained the same food/beverage choices. Subjects ordered and consumed foods/beverages for lunch from the menu to which they were assigned. Subjects were blinded to study purpose. Measures. Energy ordered and consumed at lunch were assessed from the weight of the food ordered and consumed, respectively, and the energy content of the same foods available on the restaurant Web site. Postlunch energy intake was assessed by food recall. Analysis. Analysis of covariance, adjusted for premeal hunger levels and gender, determined the effect of menu type on energy ordered and consumed and postlunch energy intake. Results. Significant menu effect was observed for energy ordered (p = .008) and consumed (p = .04) at lunch. The exercise-labels group ordered significantly (p = .002) less energy (adjusted mean [confidence intervals]: 763 [703, 824] kcal) at lunch, compared to the no-labels group (902 [840, 963] kcal) but not compared to the kcal-labels group (827 [766, 888] kcal). The exercise-labels group also consumed significantly (p = .01) less energy (673 [620, 725] kcal) at lunch, compared to the no-labels group (770 (717, 823) kcal) but not compared to the kcal-labels group (722 [669, 776] kcal). Energy ordered and consumed were not different between kcal-labels and no-labels groups. There was no difference in postlunch energy intake by menu type. Conclusion. The menu with exercise-labels resulted in less energy ordered and consumed and this did not lead to greater energy consumption post lunch, compared to the menu with no-labels in young adults largely made up of normal-weight, non-Hispanic white college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-302
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Fingerprint

Lunch
young adult
Young Adult
Exercise
energy
Energy Intake
Food
Food and Beverages
food
Students
Weights and Measures
Restaurants
Hunger
Group
Walking
Body Mass Index
Confidence Intervals
student
hunger

Keywords

  • Energy intake
  • Fast food
  • Menu labeling
  • Prevention research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Menu labels displaying the kilocalorie content or the exercise equivalent : Effects on energy ordered and consumed in young adults. / James, Ashlei; Adams-Huet, Beverley; Shah, Meena.

In: American Journal of Health Promotion, Vol. 29, No. 5, 01.05.2015, p. 294-302.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - Purpose. Determine the effect of menu labels displaying the energy content of food items or the exercise equivalent on energy ordered and consumed at lunch and energy intake for the remainder of the day in young adults. Design. Subjects were randomized to a menu with no labels (no-labels), menu with kilocalorie labels displaying the energy content of the food items (kcal-labels), or menu with exercise labels displaying the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn the food energy (exercise-labels). Setting. The study was conducted in one dining area located in a metabolic kitchen at the Texas Christian University and another located in a residence occupied by graduate students. Subjects. Of the 300 subjects, 55.7% were female, 77.3% were college students, 88% were white, and 88% were non-Hispanic. Mean body mass index and age were 24.2 ± 4.5 kg/m2 and 21.9 ± 2.3 years, respectively. Intervention. All menus contained the same food/beverage choices. Subjects ordered and consumed foods/beverages for lunch from the menu to which they were assigned. Subjects were blinded to study purpose. Measures. Energy ordered and consumed at lunch were assessed from the weight of the food ordered and consumed, respectively, and the energy content of the same foods available on the restaurant Web site. Postlunch energy intake was assessed by food recall. Analysis. Analysis of covariance, adjusted for premeal hunger levels and gender, determined the effect of menu type on energy ordered and consumed and postlunch energy intake. Results. Significant menu effect was observed for energy ordered (p = .008) and consumed (p = .04) at lunch. The exercise-labels group ordered significantly (p = .002) less energy (adjusted mean [confidence intervals]: 763 [703, 824] kcal) at lunch, compared to the no-labels group (902 [840, 963] kcal) but not compared to the kcal-labels group (827 [766, 888] kcal). The exercise-labels group also consumed significantly (p = .01) less energy (673 [620, 725] kcal) at lunch, compared to the no-labels group (770 (717, 823) kcal) but not compared to the kcal-labels group (722 [669, 776] kcal). Energy ordered and consumed were not different between kcal-labels and no-labels groups. There was no difference in postlunch energy intake by menu type. Conclusion. The menu with exercise-labels resulted in less energy ordered and consumed and this did not lead to greater energy consumption post lunch, compared to the menu with no-labels in young adults largely made up of normal-weight, non-Hispanic white college students.

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