Examining the Use of Nutrition Information on Restaurant Menus

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Food Products Marketing

First Page


Last Page





Over the past decade, the world has been facing an obesity epidemic. In the popular press and certain governmental and public policy circles, this seems to be attributed to the marketing efforts of fast-food and chain restaurants. As a solution to this problem, many have proposed increasing the amount of nutrition information available to the public by adding nutrition information to restaurant menus and menu boards. However, some debate has ensued about the use and function of this nutrition information. Specifically, this research attempts to uncover whether consumer actually use the nutrition information to aid their decision-making process. In two experimental studies, results are presented to enlighten the discussion of consumers’ reactions to nutrition information when it is present on restaurant menus. Contrary to what public policy makers have stated, this research shows that only small groups of consumers use nutrition information on a restaurant menu. The results in both studies indicate that when consumers eat out at restaurants, their decisions are based on taste and preference rather than nutrition information if it is presented on a menu. These results may have implications for the provision of nutrition information on restaurant menus and consumer decision-making.


Version of record can be found through Taylor and Francis.