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An observational study of consumer use of fast-food restaurant drive-through lanes: implications for menu labelling policy

  • Christina A Roberto (a1), Elena Hoffnagle (a1), Marie A Bragg (a1) and Kelly D Brownell (a1)
Abstract
AbstractObjective

Some versions of restaurant menu labelling legislation do not require energy information to be posted on menus for drive-through lanes. The present study was designed to quantify the number of customers who purchase fast food through drive-in windows as a means of informing legislative labelling efforts.

Design

This was an observational study.

Setting

The study took place at two McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants, and single Dairy Queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Wendy’s restaurants.

Subjects

The number of customers entering the chain restaurants and purchasing food via the drive-through lane were recorded. A total of 3549 patrons were observed.

Results

The percentage of customers who made their purchases at drive-throughs was fifty-seven. The overall average (57 %) is likely a conservative estimate because some fast-food restaurants have late-night hours when only the drive-throughs are open.

Conclusions

Since nearly six in ten customers purchase food via the drive-through lanes, menu labelling legislation should mandate the inclusion of menu labels on drive-through menu boards to maximise the impact of this public health intervention.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email christina.roberto@yale.edu
Linked references
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

3.MT Bassett , T Dumanovsky , C Huang (2008) Purchasing behaviour and calorie information at fast-food chains in New York City. Am J Public Health 98, 14571459.

5.T Kuo , CJ Jarosz , P Simon (2009) Menu labelling as a potential strategy for combating the obesity epidemic: a health impact assessment. Am J Public Health 99, 16801686.

8.CA Roberto , H Agnew & KD Brownell (2009) An observational study of consumers accessing nutrition information in chain restaurants. Am J Public Health 99, 820821.

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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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