Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Barbara A. Almanza

Second Advisor

Carl A. Behnke

Committee Chair

Barbara A. Almanza

Committee Member 1

Carl A. Behnke

Committee Member 2

Douglas C. Nelson


Zhu, Jiaqi. M.S., Purdue University, December 2013. The Impact of Nutrition Information Delivery Methods on Restaurant Consumers' Attitudes and Behavior. Major Professors: Barbara A. Almanza, Carl A. Behnke.

Obesity is a major public health threat. It not only creates challenges for those who are obese and overweight, but also brings an economic burden to the whole society. One important contributing factor for obesity is food eaten away from home, which accounts for more than 40% of American's food budget. Although chain quick-service restaurants are required by law to post calorie information on menus and menu boards, the efficacy of menu labeling for guiding consumers to choose the healthy food items has had mixed results. The purpose of the study was to find the best way to deliver the calorie information to the consumers leading to a change in purchase behavior. Three calorie information delivery methods (simple passive delivery, enhanced passive delivery and combined passive and active delivery) were developed in conjunction with three pairs of healthy and traditional food items. Over a four-week experiment, different delivery methods were applied, and sales and consumer choices were compared to the baseline week. Questionnaires were collected during the three treatment weeks. Ordinal logistic regression, analysis of variance, frequency and means tests were used to analyze the data.

Ordinal logistic regression revealed that consumer attitudes towards healthy eating were significant in predicting healthy food item selection. However, the three treatments did not prove to be significant in guiding consumers to choose the healthy food items. Nevertheless, the treatments as a whole led 15% (N=25) of the respondents to change their original purchase intention from the traditional version to the healthy version. Using odds ratio comparison of the sales data, it could be concluded that the combined passive and active delivery methods was the most influential in helping the consumers make a healthy choice, followed by the simple passive delivery and the enhanced passive delivery methods. Apparently, consumers were more influenced if calorie information was delivered in a combined pattern (including passive and active information). Policy makers should consider the effect of other information delivery methods in addition to menus and menu boards in guiding consumers to choose healthy food items.