Award Date

May 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Department

Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Christine Bergman

Second Committee Member

Jean Hertzman

Third Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Fourth Committee Member

Calora Raab

Number of Pages

143

Abstract

The global prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In response to this health crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized the Menu Calorie Labeling Rule in 2014. It requires that food service chains post Calorie information next to all food items on menus. Young Millennials aged 18-24 reportedly have poor dietary habits, which contributes to obesity rates. This on-line study surveyed 505 young Millennials to evaluate the relationship between young Millennials’ Calorie choices on restaurant menus and various factors, including menu design, personal dietary behaviors, and demographic characteristics. The survey data was analyzed using logistic regression. Specifically, the relationship between a binary dependent variable, the participants’ Calorie choices, and the independent variables, including menu design, the stage of change (from the Transtheoretical Model), gender, race, educational level and weight status was evaluated. The results indicated that the light and fresh menu designs, the personal dietary behavior defined by stage of change, gender and weight status were all associated with the participants’ Calorie choices on menus in this study. Participants who randomly received the menu with green symbols (signifying a lower-than-600-Calorie item), participants who have started to control their daily Calorie consumption, participants who were of normal weight status, and participants who were female were significantly more likely to choose menu items lower-than-600 Calories. These results suggest that including Calories on restaurant menus will only influence the food choices of certain demographics and that menu designs may increase the percentage of people that make lower Calorie menu item choices.

Keywords

Calories; Menu; Millennial; Obesity; Restaurant; Stage of Change

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing | Nutrition

Language

English


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