Mandatory Calorie Disclosure: A Comprehensive Analysis of Its Effect on Consumers and Retailers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Retailing, 2018, 94 (1), pp. 89 - 101
Issue Date:
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© 2017 In 2018 restaurants in the United States will need to provide calorie information on their menus as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the present research, we examine the efficacy of this legislation in reducing restaurant based food calorie consumption. Specifically, we explore the likely effect of the new policy on both the supply and demand side, that is, consumer and retailer behaviors. To achieve this, two studies are included in this research: a meta-analysis of 186 studies investigating the effect of calorie disclosure on calories selected, and a meta-analysis of 41 studies examining the effect of calorie disclosure on calories offered by retailers. Across these two studies we reveal a significant and unequivocal calorie disclosure effect for menu labels; disclosure results in both fewer calories selected (−27 Calories) and fewer calories offered by retailers (−15 Calories).
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