Objectives: We examined population-level impact on customer awareness and use and explored potential disparities in outcomes regarding the King County, Washington, regulation requiring chain restaurants to provide calorie information.
Methods: We analyzed 2008 to 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 3132 English-speaking King County residents aged 18 years and older who reported eating at a regulated chain. We used regression models to assess changes in calorie information awareness and use from prepolicy to postpolicy implementation by customer demographics, health status, and restaurant type.
Results: Calorie information awareness and use increased significantly from 2008 to 2010. Unadjusted analyses indicated that the proportion who saw and used calorie information tripled, from 8.1% to 24.8%. Fully adjusted analyses confirmed significant increases. After policy implementation, White, higher income, and obese respondents had greater odds of seeing calorie information. Women, higher income groups, and those eating at a fast-food versus a sit-down chain restaurant were more likely to use this information.
Conclusions: Significant increases in calorie information awareness and use following regulation support the population-wide value of this policy. However, improvements varied across race, income, and gender.