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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Effects of Menu Labeling with the Ratio of Recommended to Restricted Food Components on Food Choice

This experimental study examines the effect of labeling menus with a single nutrient density score, the Ratio of Recommended to Restricted Food Components (3R; Scheidt & Daniel, 2004), on consumer food choice. The 3R summarizes eleven food components: protein, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, calories, sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. In this study, 93 undergraduate students were assigned to a control group, receiving a menu with food items and prices, or an experimental group, receiving the same menu with the addition of 3R scores. Students in the 3R group who said that they did not use the 3R were categorized into a third group (n = 18). Students selected “a $5, healthy lunch” from the college food court, paid by the researcher. Results indicate that use of the 3R caused men to choose a lunch lower in protein, calcium, calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium and women to choose a lunch higher in calcium. These findings indicate that labeling a menu with the 3R led to changes in food selection. The importance of these findings rests in the simplicity, feasibility and effectiveness of the 3R on food consumed.

Presenters: Erin Halligan (Graduate Student)
Douglas Scheidt (Faculty)
Topic: Health Science
Location: 219 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)