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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: Menu Labeling Associated with Fewer Calories at Convenience Stores

There was a significant decrease in the average calories of menu items at convenience stores in the years leading up to the implementation of a national menu labeling law that required certain chain restaurants in the U.S. to list calories on their menus, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published in Preventive Medicine Reports, examined trends in calories among food items sold in U.S. convenience stores and pizza restaurant chains from 2013 to 2017. The authors noted that they focused on convenience stores and pizza restaurants because such businesses were openly resistant to implementing menu labeling.

The study found that pizza restaurants introduced lower-calorie pizza options in 2017, but no other significant changes in calories were seen.

Authors of the study included Dr. Alvin Tran, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University who conducted the research while a doctoral student at Harvard Chan School, Dr. Sara Bleich, professor of public health policy at Harvard Chan School, and Dr. Alyssa Moran, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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