Study: 36% of diners read calorie information at restaurants

December 3, 2013

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that 36.4% of consumers read calorie information at restaurants, but that those who do read it use the information.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a sample of 4,363 U.S. adults using the 2009 HealthStyles survey. They wanted to find out if diners were reading the calorie information when available while ordering at fast-food/chain restaurants. Among those who go to fast-food/chain restaurants, the researchers conducted multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between sociodemographic variables and reading calorie information when available. In addition, for those diners that do read the calorie information, the researchers assessed whether they were using the information.

The researchers found that among those who reported eating at fast-food/chain restaurants, 36.4% reported reading calorie information when available. Reading calorie information was not related to race/ethnicity, income, or education. Compared with men, women had higher odds of reading calorie information when available. In addition, those who frequented fast-food/chain restaurants more than three times a week had lower odds compared with those going less than four times per month. Of those who reported reading calorie information when available, 95.4% reported using calorie information at least sometimes.