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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: Calorie menu labeling on quick-service restaurant menus: an updated systematic review of the literature

Reference Design and Presence of Comparison Group Intervention/Measures Setting Number of Subjects/Restaurants Result
Real world setting      
Elbel et al. (2011) [17] Natural experiment, pre/post intervention comparison and with matched community Calorie labels added to chain restaurant labels in New York City. Survey administered outside fast food restaurants. New York City and Newark, NJ (as comparator). Fast food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods 349 children and adolescents Mean calories purchased in NYC pre and post labeling 643 v 652 (p = 0.82), Newark 611 v 673 (p = 0.37).
Elbel et al. (2009) [18] Natural experiment, pre/post intervention comparison and with matched community Calorie labels added to chain restaurant labels in New York City. Survey administered outside fast food restaurants. New York City and Newark, NJ (as comparator). Fast food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods 1156 adults over 18 Regression-Adjusted nutrient content in NYC and Newark before and after with 95% CI. NYC: 825 (779, 870) post 846 (758, 889). Newark 823 (802, 890) post 826 (746, 906).
Finkelstein et al. (2011) [19] Natural experiment, pre/post intervention comparison with matched communities Calorie labels added to chain restaurant labels in King County, WA, then drive-thru lanes. Total monthly transactions and calories per transaction. King County, WA and several stores from surrounding area 21 randomly selected Taco Time locations and 7 locations outside King County Calories per transaction King County pre-period: 1,211 v post-period 1: 1,217 v post-period 2: 1,214. Calories per transaction Control pre-period: 1,391 v. post-period 1: 1,392 v post-period 2: 1,376.
Chu et al. (2009) [6] Quasi-experimental, single group interrupted time series Calorie labels added to entrees in college dining hall. Used electronic sales data to track calories of entrees sold. Dining hall, Ohio State University NA Calories per entrée sold at pre 645.5, First day of tx period -12.4 (p = 0.007), decreased of 0.298 calories/day), post treatment increases 1.512/day
Dumanovsky et al. (2011) [16] Cross sectional surveys pre/post calorie menu label implementation Calorie labels added to chain restaurant labels in New York City. Survey administered outside fast food restaurants. New York City fast food chains 7309 adult customers in 2007 and 8489 in 2009, 168 locations of 11 fast food chains No change in mean calories purchased overall chains from 2007 to 2009, 828 v 846 kcal (p = 0.22). Three chains show reduction in mean calories per purchase: McDonalds (829 v 786, p < 0.02), Au Bon Pain (555 v 475, p < 0.001), KFC (927 v 882 kcal, p < 0.001). One chain significant increase: Subway (749 v 882, p < 0.001).
Laboratory setting      
Harnack et al. (2008) [20] Non-blinded randomized controlled trial Order from 4 menu labeling conditions, control that lists items with standard pricing, Item + Calorie menu, Item + Non-value menu pricing, Calorie + Non-Value menu pricing. Measured calories ordered and calories consumed Conference room of suburban hotel and church basement in Minneapolis St. Paul, MN 594 adolescents and adults 16 or older Mean calories ordered: Calorie 873.6, Price 881.7, Calorie+Price 842.3, Control 827.5 (p = 0.62); Mean calories consumed: Calorie 804.7 Price 813.3 Calorie+Price 761.0 Control 739.0 (p = 0.25)
Roberto et al. (2010) [21] Non-blinded randomized controlled trial Participants order from 3 menu labeling conditions, one that lists the items, one that lists items and calories, one that lists items, calories and daily guideline calories. Measured calories ordered and calories consumed Laboratory in New Haven, CT 303 adults 18 and older Mean calories ordered: Control 2189, label condition 1862 (p = 0.03), label + info condition (1860, p = 0.03), no significant difference between two label conditions. No significant difference in calories consumed overall (p = 0.12).