To explore predictors of intention of college students to use calorie labels on fast-food menus and differences in calories ordered after viewing calorie information.Design:
Quasi-experimental design. Participants selected a meal from a menu without calorie labels, selected a meal from the same menu with calorie labels, and completed a survey that assessed demographics, dietary habits, Theory of Planned Behavior constructs, and potential barriers to use of calorie labeling.Setting:
A southern university.Participants:
Undergraduate university students (n = 97).Main Outcome Measures:
Predictors of intention to use calorie labels and whether calories selected from the nonlabeled menu differed from the labeled menu.Analysis:
Confirmatory factor analysis, exploratory factor analysis, multiple regression, and paired t tests.Results:
Participants ordered significantly fewer calories (P = .02) when selecting from the labeled menu vs the menu without labels. Attitudes (P = .006), subjective norms (P < .001), and perceived behavioral control (P = .01) predicted intention to use calorie information but did not predict a difference in the calories ordered. Hunger (P = .03) and cost (P = .04) were barriers to using the calorie information.Conclusions and Implications:
If students can overcome barriers, calorie labeling could provide information that college students need to select lower-calorie items at fast-food restaurants.