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Abstract

Children are one subpopulation that have seen a threefold increase in obesity over the last two decades but have received no attention in the menu labeling literature. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of different menu labeling formats on purchases of children’s meals and parent-child decision-making at a family-oriented restaurant. The intervention consists of five children’s menus featuring six bundled, nutritionally diverse, and equally priced combinations that are implemented over about a year. Accompanying each menu is a survey postcard collecting information on the parent-child decision process in choosing the item. This is ongoing research and all data is not in but at this point, the very early evidence points toward child-menu labeling having very little impact on food choices and caloric intake. This result is likely due to low parental involvement in the decision process given that children are the main ones deciding what to eat.

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