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A Brief Overview of New York City's Calorie Labeling Regulation and Evaluation

Huang, Christina MPH; Dumanovsky, Tamara PhD

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181f1d715
Nutrition Communications
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In 2008, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) adopted a regulation that requires chain restaurants with 15 or more locations nationwide to post calorie information prominently on menu boards and menus. This regulation is intended to help customers make informed choices at the point of purchase. To assess the impact of this calorie labeling requirement, NYC DOHMH is conducting 3 studies to examine changes in (1) customer purchasing behavior, (2) awareness about calorie posting, and (3) menu options at fast-food chains, before and after implementation of the regulation. Preliminary results suggest that posting calorie information prominently at the point of purchase can increase the number of customers who see and use that information. The city's approach to calorie labeling helps provide customers with important information to make food choices. Calorie labeling policies have gained support in jurisdictions across the nation as implementing regulations such as this one can have broad implications at the population level

Calorie counts and maybe counting hit the Big Apple

Christina Huang, MPH, is from Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She received her master's degree in public health from New York University in 2007. She has been working with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2006 on projects related to calorie labeling-including coordinating data collection and analyzing and presenting results from evaluation work. Her past work has included quantitative and qualitative research in the areas of behavioral and developmental disorders, early childhood nutrition, and adolescent obesity.

Tamara Dumanovsky, PhD, is from Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She joined the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a Research Scientist in 2001 and has been working with the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control as the Director of Research and Program Evaluation for the past 3 years. In this capacity, Dr Dumanovsky has been leading the agency's calorie labeling evaluation projects over the past 2 years. She has also conducted research focusing on ethnic disparities in adult and teen asthma, cervical cancer, and hypertension and has coordinated program evaluations for work site wellness, physical activity, and nutrition programs.

Correspondence: Christina Huang, 2 Lafayette St, CN 46, New York, NY 10007 (chuang@health.nyc.gov)

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.