Center for Public Health Nutrition

Menu Labeling

One method of communicating food nutrition information to the public is to label foods with their relative nutrient and caloric content. While nutrition labeling has been required on all food packages sold in stores in the US since 1994, there has not been a national law regarding nutrition labeling on menus for restaurants in the US. With the increased propensity of Americans to eat meals away from home in recent years, many have suggested that some form of nutrition information should be required in these settings and recently the US government added a provision to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring calorie information to be present on menus in some restaurants. However, the efficacy of presenting calorie information alone on menus is not well understood with regard to public consumption patterns.

At CPHN, we have the unique abilities and facilities to assess the impact that calorie and other nutrition labeling has on food purchasing decisions and consumption patterns using laboratory based experimental economics methods, quasi-experimental intervention-based methods, and population based epidemiological methods.

We welcome collaborations with retailers, schools and other institutions interested in nutrition labeling.

For more information:


Brett Carter, MS
Research Scientist
phone: (206) 897-1475