Reducing calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium in restaurant menu items: Effects on consumer acceptance

Anjali A. Patel, Nanette V. Lopez, Harry T. Lawless, Valentine Njike, Mariana Beleche, David L. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To assess consumer acceptance of reductions of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium to current restaurant recipes. Methods: Twenty-four menu items, from six restaurant chains, were slightly modified and moderately modified by reducing targeted ingredients. Restaurant customers (n = 1,838) were recruited for a taste test and were blinded to the recipe version as well as the purpose of the study. Overall consumer acceptance was measured using a 9-point hedonic (like/dislike) scale, likelihood to purchase scale, Just-About-Right (JAR) 5-point scale, penalty analysis, and alienation analysis. Results: Overall, modified recipes of 19 menu items were scored similar to (or better than) their respective current versions. Eleven menu items were found to be acceptable in the slightly modified recipe version, and eight menu items were found to be acceptable in the moderately modified recipe version. Acceptable ingredient modifications resulted in a reduction of up to 26% in calories and a reduction of up to 31% in sodium per serving. Conclusions: The majority of restaurant menu items with small reductions of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium were acceptable. Given the frequency of eating foods away from home, these reductions could be effective in creating dietary improvements for restaurant diners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2497-2508
Number of pages12
JournalObesity
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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