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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: July 26, 2010
KP Offers Nutritional Information On Hospital Cafeteria Menus

Kaiser Permanente has decided to offer calorie counts and other nutrition information on its hospital cafeteria menus, after a study found that patrons chose healthier options when menus are labeled with more nutritional details, according to a press release.

More than 80 percent of patrons surveyed said they felt Kaiser Permanente was helping to improve their health by providing them with nutritional information in the cafeteria, according to studies done by the University of California at Berkley’s Center for Weight and Health at five Kaiser Permanente cafeteria sites.

The three study conditions for participating cafeterias were either calorie labeling in place on menu boards and placards at point of purchase; a wall poster with both calorie and detailed nutrition information; or no information. Patrons’ lunchtime purchases were assessed before and four weeks after labeling had been introduced using electronic cash register records at two sites and direct observation at all sites, according to the release.

More than 500 patrons completed the cafeteria exit survey. Two-thirds of respondents noted the menu board sites with calorie information, and one-third of those reported they altered their purchases as a result of the information, said authors of the study.

"If we want people to make healthier choices, we need to give them information they need to make those choices," said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, senior VP of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente.

"This innovative program shows that people want nutrition information when they eat in places like cafeterias and restaurants, and that having the information gives consumers more control," said Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "It would be wonderful if this were done on a broad scale."

Address: Kaiser Permanente, 1 Kaiser Plaza, Suite 2600, Oakland, CA 94612; (510) 271-5910,

  This article was taken from:
Wellness Program Management Advisor

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