Influence of Placement of a Nutrition Logo on Cafeteria Menu Items on Lunchtime Food Choices at Dutch Work Sites

J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan;111(1):131-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.003.

Abstract

This study investigated the effectiveness of labeling foods with the Choices nutrition logo on influencing cafeteria menu selection and the behavioral determinants of menu choices in work site cafeterias in the Netherlands. A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted. Intervention cafeterias (n=13), where the Choices logo was used to promote healthier eating for a 3-week period, were compared with control cafeterias (n=12), which offered the same menu without the logo. Sales data were collected daily for 9 weeks, from March to May 2009. In addition, employees from one intervention and one control company completed an online questionnaire at baseline and after the intervention (n=368) in which the behavioral determinants of food choice (ie, attitude, self-efficacy, and intention) and logo use were measured. Generalized estimating equation analyses, χ² tests, t tests and linear regression analyses were performed. No nutritionally meaningful intervention effects were found in the sales of sandwiches, soups, snacks, fruit, and salads. Also, no significant differences in behavioral determinants were found. "Intention to eat healthier" and "paying attention to product information" were positively associated with self-reported consumption of foods with the Choices logo at lunch. The intervention did not have a significant effect on employees' lunchtime food choices. Labeling healthy choices might be useful for health-conscious employees in the volitional phase of behavior change. Further research should focus on the possible health benefits of menu reformulation in the catering sector.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Food Labeling*
  • Food Services / standards*
  • Food Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Menu Planning / methods
  • Menu Planning / standards
  • Netherlands
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires