Predicted Impact of the Food and Drug Administration’s Menu-Labeling Regulations on Restaurants in 4 New Jersey Cities

Jessie Gruner, Robin S. DeWeese, Cori Lorts, Michael Yedidia, Punam Ohri-Vachaspati

Publication Date: 02/01/2018

Objectives. To determine the proportion of restaurants that will be required to post calorie information under the Food and Drug Administration’s menu-labeling regulations in 4 New Jersey cities. Methods. We classified geocoded 2014 data on 1753 restaurant outlets in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines, which will require restaurants with 20 or more locations nationwide to post calorie information. We used multivariate logistic regression analyses to assess the association between menu-labeling requirements and census tract characteristics. Results. Only 17.6% of restaurants will be affected by menu labeling; restaurants in higher-income tracts have higher odds than do restaurants in lower-income tracts (odds ratio [OR] = 1.55; P = .02). Restaurants in non-Hispanic Black (OR = 1.62; P = .02) and mixed race/ethnicity (OR = 1.44; P = .05) tracts have higher odds than do restaurants in non-Hispanic White tracts of being affected. Conclusions. Additional strategies are needed to help consumers make healthy choices at restaurants not affected by the menu-labeling law. These findings have implications for designing implementation strategies for the law and for evaluating its impact.