A voluntary nutrition labeling program in restaurants: Consumer awareness, use of nutrition information, and food selection.
Sommaire de l'article
Health Check (HC) was a voluntary nutrition labeling program developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada as a guide to help consumers choose healthy foods. Items meeting nutrient criteria were identified with a HC symbol. This study examined the impact of the program on differences in consumer awareness and use of nutritional information in restaurants. Exit surveys were conducted with 1126 patrons outside four HC and four comparison restaurants in Ontario, Canada (2013). Surveys assessed participant noticing of nutrition information, influence of nutrition information on menu selection, and nutrient intake. Significantly more patrons at HC restaurants noticed nutrition information than at comparison restaurants (34.2% vs. 28.1%; OR = 1.39; p = 0.019); however, only 5% of HC restaurant patrons recalled seeing the HC symbol. HC restaurant patrons were more likely to say that their order was influenced by nutrition information (10.9% vs. 4.5%; OR = 2.96, p < 0.001); and consumed less saturated fat and carbohydrates, and more protein and fibre (p < 0.05). Approximately 15% of HC restaurant patrons ordered HC approved items; however, only 1% ordered a HC item and mentioned seeing the symbol in the restaurant in an unprompted recall task, and only 4% ordered a HC item and reported seeing the symbol on the item when asked directly. The HC program was associated with greater levels of noticing and influence of nutrition information, and more favourable nutrient intake; however, awareness of the HC program was very low and differences most likely reflect the type of restaurants that "self-selected" into the program.