Calorie changes among food items sold in U.S. convenience stores and pizza restaurant chains from 2013 to 2017

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe trends in calories among food items sold in U.S. convenience stores and pizza restaurant chains from 2013 to 2017 – a period leading up to the implementation of the federal menu labeling mandate. Using data from the MenuStat project, we conducted quantile regression analyses in 2018 to estimate the predicted median per-item calories among menu items available at convenience stores (n = 1522) and pizza restaurant chains (n = 2085) – two retailers that have been openly resistant to implementing menu labeling – and assessed whether core food items were reformulated during the study period. We also compared calories in food items available for sale on convenience store and pizza restaurant menus to calories in items that were newly added or dropped. We found that leading up to the national menu labeling implementation date, convenience stores showed a significant decreasing trend in median calories of overall menu items (390 kcals in 2013 vs. 334 kcals in 2017, p-value for trend <0.01) and among appetizers and sides (367 kcals in 2013 vs. 137 kcals in 2017, p-value for trend = 0.02). Pizza restaurants introduced lower-calorie pizza options in 2017, but no other significant changes in calories were observed. Going forward, it will be important to track calorie changes in convenience stores and pizza restaurant chains as both food establishments represent significant sources of calories for Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100932
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Calories
  • Convenience stores
  • Menu labeling
  • Nutrition policy
  • Obesity
  • Pizza restaurants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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