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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5097||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2012, Pages 1187–1194
As menu labeling legislation that requires nutritional information on restaurant menus becomes increasingly prevalent, it is controversial whether the provision of nutritional information promotes consumers to select healthy items. This study aims to examine the extent to which the nutritional information presented on menus influences consumer food evaluation and choice in restaurant patronage. We also investigate the effect of menu context and individual characteristics, such as nutritional knowledge and motivation to process, on consumers’ information processing. A computer-based experiment was conducted to collect data. The results show significant effects of the presence of nutritional information and the menu context, which is the healthiness of other alternatives on the menu, on consumer food decision. Consumer motivation to process the provided nutritional information significantly moderates the effect of nutritional information disclosure. These results present valuable implications for restaurateurs and policy makers interested in the effect of menu labeling.
Americans are gaining weight. Almost half of American adults were diagnosed as overweight or obese in the 1970s and by 2004, this proportion increased to more than two-thirds. The growing rate of obesity has received significant attention in recent years because obesity is one of the critical causes of several public health problems (Center for Disease and Control Prevention, 2007). One of the most recent concerns is how the food industry is contributing to the problem of obesity and related health problems; the increased consumption of food away from home, which often contains high calories and high fat content, may be exacerbating the problem. Foodservice companies are believed to be contributors to the growing rate of obesity, and have been accordingly imposed fines and restrictions, as well as threatened with legislation (Wansink and Chandon, 2006). Thus, food companies and legislators have sought to jointly combat this problem; not only are food companies making an effort to develop and provide more healthful options (Pizam, 2011), but the U.S. government has also encouraged consumers to purchase healthful foods and proposed the law referred to as The Menu Education and Labeling (MEAL) Act for restaurants. The MEAL Act requires restaurants to provide nutritional information, such as the total number of calories and amount of saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates, and sodium in menu items (Cranage et al., 2004). This law aims to increase consumers’ use of nutritional information, and help them choose healthier foods on the basis of the provided information (Burton and Andrews, 1996). This approach is supported by several previous studies, which show that food healthiness is one of the important components considered by consumers when making food choices, and that consumers are more likely to purchase healthful foods when nutritional information is provided on the menu (Burton and Creyer, 2004, Hwang and Lorenzen, 2008 and Stubenitsky et al., 2007). Thus, it seems clear that providing nutritional information has a positive effect on healthy eating behavior. However, the MEAL laws enacted by different cities or states stipulate different levels of nutritional information to be disclosed, depending on the size or type of restaurant. For example, New York City requires restaurant chains with 15 or more branches to list only the total number of calories on menus, whereas the Philadelphia City Council requires restaurants to present information on four different nutrients in addition to total calorie content (Nation's Restaurant News, 2008). No evidence or explanation has been provided as to why each of the regulations requires different levels of nutritional information, and how varying information levels influence consumer food choices. Additionally, other studies have indicated that providing nutritional information on menus has no effect on information use, food evaluation, or food choices in a restaurant setting (Droms, 2006 and Stubenitsky et al., 2007). The lack of effect was attributed to the fact that people consider eating out where they are allowed to eat any food, regardless of health (Stubenitsky et al., 2007). Droms (2006) also suggested that people consider other important and influential components aside from health benefits; these factors include the taste of food or individual food preferences. Moreover, awareness and use of presented nutritional information may be influenced by consumers’ individual characteristics, such as motivation to perform healthy behavior, health consciousness, nutritional knowledge, and health status (Moorman, 1990). Thus, this study focuses on what level of nutritional information can best promote healthful food choices in a restaurant setting, and which individual characteristics can encourage consumers to process nutritional information and select healthier foods at a restaurant. More specifically, we seek to determine the moderating effects of factors such as nutritional menu context, motivation to process nutritional information, and nutritional knowledge.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As menu labeling legislation that requires nutritional information on restaurant menus becomes increasingly prevalent, controversial issues include whether menu labeling laws help improve both consumer healthy eating, and the negative restaurant industry image that stems from the provision of unhealthy foods and obesity lawsuits. To provide more effective strategies for policy makers and restaurateurs, we examined the effect of nutritional information disclosure on menus and the factors that affect the use of nutritional information. The results of this study indicate that the availability of nutritional information on menus influences consumer decision making in a restaurant. Both levels of nutritional information, total calories, and nutritional information for the six nutrient contents cause consumers to adopt less favorable attitudes toward a menu item and less purchase intention for that item. Thus, the law that requires only total calories to be disclosed on the menu (enacted by New York City) seems to be more efficient for both consumers when they select an item and restaurants when designing a menu. However, nutritional information of other nutrients also plays a significant role in evaluating nutritional values and has greater effect on consumer food choice than only total calories information does. Thus, the impact of the provision of nutritional information including other nutrients in addition to total calories should not be ignored in menu labeling laws. King County shows a good example of how to use this result. It was mandated to post calorie, fat, sodium, and carbohydrate information on menus. However, restaurants that use menu boards display only total calories information with prices on the board, and nutritional information for other nutrients is offered in a plainly visible format (Conlin, 2007). The King County model enables consumers to use more nutritional information in selecting food and allows policy makers to develop more efficient and practical menu labeling regulations. In addition, consumers evaluate both healthy and unhealthy menu items more negatively despite the provision of nutritional values similar to, or even healthier than the actual nutritional levels of menu items. This result may be attributed to the fact that the provided nutritional level of an item on a menu is worse than consumers’ nutritional expectations. Consumers are likely to be disappointed with the manipulated nutritional values of an item; thus, their attitudes toward the menu item and purchase intention are less favorable (Burton et al., 2006). This finding supports the results of previous studies, which show that consumers tend to underestimate calorie or fat content, and that the differences between the expected and actual nutritional values tend to be greater for unhealthy foods (Burton et al., 2006 and Chandon and Wansink, 2007). This implies that consumers expect menu items to be much healthier than they are in reality. Thus, it is necessary for restaurateurs to inform consumers of the exact nutritional information of menu items, and train their employees to deliver and explain nutritional information to customers. Educating customers on accurately processing nutritional information through various educational programs is also critical. Consumer nutritional knowledge, both objective and subjective, is associated with the accuracy of nutritional information use (Moorman, 1993). In this study, however, the significant effect of nutritional knowledge is unsupported. The ability to use provided information is more effective when consumers have a high level of motivation to process information (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986), indicating that there should be a significant effect of nutritional knowledge on consumer food decision making when consumers have enough motivation to process nutritional information. Thus, the effect of nutritional knowledge interacted with motivation to process was further investigated, and a significant interaction effect between subjective nutritional knowledge and motivation to process on overall food attitude and purchase intention was observed. Consumers with high subjective nutritional knowledge and high motivation to process, which are associated with consumers’ psychological states, evaluate a menu item more unfavorably and are less likely to purchase a menu item. Thus, providing more opportunities to learn about health and nutrition and increasing consumer interest in or concern over health and nutritional information are important endeavors. In the restaurant industry, one way to reduce the negative effect of nutritional information disclosure is to design the menu more effectively. Nutritional menu context not only influences consumer decision making but also moderates the effect of nutritional information disclosure. When a menu item is accompanied by healthier items, it is evaluated more unfavorably than when it is accompanied by less healthy items; this effect intensifies when nutritional information is provided. Thus, the manner by which items are grouped together on a menu becomes a critical issue. For example, it is possible to design a menu page for only healthy items or a menu that emphasizes a few healthy items in an unhealthy context to reduce the context effect. Designing a menu that provides an unhealthy menu context containing healthy choices encourages healthy food choices. Therefore, to emphasize a particular item in terms of healthiness, restaurateurs can use the menu context effect.