Research Original Research| Volume 116, ISSUE 7, P1127-1135, July 2016

Factors Associated with Self-Reported Menu-Labeling Usage among US Adults

Published:February 10, 2016DOI:



      Menu labeling can help people select foods and beverages with fewer calories and is a potential population-based strategy to reduce obesity and diet-related chronic diseases in the United States.


      The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the prevalence of menu-labeling use among adults and its association with sociodemographic, behavioral, and policy factors.


      The 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 17 states, which included 100,141 adults who noticed menu labeling at fast-food or chain restaurants (“When calorie information is available in the restaurant, how often does this information help you decide what to order?”) were used. Menu-labeling use was categorized as frequent (always/most of the time), moderate (half the time/sometimes), and never. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations among sociodemographic, behavioral, and policy factors with menu-labeling use.


      Overall, of adults who noticed menu labeling, 25.6% reported frequent use of menu labeling, 31.6% reported moderate use, and 42.7% reported that they never use menu labeling. Compared with never users, frequent users were significantly more likely to be younger, female, nonwhite, more educated, high-income, adults who were overweight or obese, physically active, former- or never-smokers, less than daily (<1 time/day) consumers of sugar-sweetened beverage, and living in states where menu-labeling legislation was enacted or proposed.


      Menu labeling is one method that consumers can use to help reduce their calorie consumption from restaurants. These findings can be used to develop targeted interventions to increase menu-labeling use among subpopulations with lower use.


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      S. Lee-Kwan is an epidemiologist, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA; at the time of the study, she was an epidemic intelligence service officer, Epidemic Intelligence Service Program, CDC, Atlanta, GA.


      L. Pan is an epidemiologist, DNPAO, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Atlanta, GA.


      L. M. Maynard is an epidemiologist, DNPAO, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Atlanta, GA.


      S. Park is an epidemiologist, DNPAO, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Atlanta, GA.


      L. C. McGuire is a team lead, Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, Atlanta, GA; at the time of the study, she was epidemiology and surveillance team lead, DNPAO, CDC, Atlanta, GA.