Point of sale nutrition information in one college restaurant : impact on sales and perception of healthfulness Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x059cc609

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  • An increased frequency of eating meals away from home, increasing portion sizes in foods and a lack of information about the nutrient content of restaurant foods may be important factors related to increases in obesity. Methods to improve the healthfulness of meals eaten away from home have been highly debated. Legislation has been proposed to require restaurants to offer nutritional information on the menu, assuming that restaurant patrons could make more informed decisions when dining in a restaurant setting. This research study examined the extent to which the application of nutrition information (total calories, and grams of macronutrients per serving) presented on the menu and at the point of sale influences selections of and rating of healthfulness of menu items in one college campus restaurant. The study involved surveying patrons of an Oregon State University campus restaurant both before (pre treatment) and after (post treatment) the addition of nutrition information for six target and four non-target entree items. A total of 286 surveys (n= 143 pre-treatment, n=143 post treatment) from randomly selected patrons were completed and returned. Sales data was collected for the menu items for a 10 week period, with nutrition information on the menu only for the second five weeks. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, and associations between variables through the use of t-tests and regression correlations. Menu item sales were gathered from point of sale (POS) receipts and Micros software systems. The total restaurant weekly mean total sales and transactions were not different for the duration of the study but did vary for the menu items. Comparisons of mean sales and purchase popularity among target and non target menu items for all weeks of both pre and post treatments were made, and some of the items with nutrition information did show a decrease in sales during the study period. The application of nutrition information resulted in a higher healthfulness rating for one menu item, but resulted in a lower perception of healthfulness rating for three others. Changes in purchase counts as well as purchase popularity were also seen for two target and one non-target entree menu items. Significant increases were found for the purchase count and purchase popularity of one non-target entree menu item. Through the provision of nutrition information on this restaurant menu patrons may have been better able compare the healthfulness of menu items. Although some interesting results were found in this study in one restaurant, further research is necessary.
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