Cost Effectiveness of Calorie Labeling at Large Fast-Food Chains Across the U.S
American journal of preventive medicine
INTRODUCTION: Calorie labeling of standard menu items has been implemented at large restaurant chains across the U.S. since 2018. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of calorie labeling at large U.S. fast-food chains. METHODS: This study evaluated the national implementation of calorie labeling at large fast-food chains from a modified societal perspective and projected its cost effectiveness over a 10-year period (2018-2027) using the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study microsimulation model. Using evidence from over 67 million fast-food restaurant transactions between 2015 and 2019, the impact of calorie labeling on calorie consumption and obesity incidence was projected. Benefits were estimated across all racial, ethnic, and income groups. Analyses were performed in 2022. RESULTS: Calorie labeling is estimated to be cost saving; prevent 550,000 cases of obesity in 2027 alone (95% uncertainty interval=518,000; 586,000), including 41,500 (95% uncertainty interval=33,700; 50,800) cases of childhood obesity; and save $22.60 in healthcare costs for every $1 spent by society in implementation costs. Calorie labeling is also projected to prevent cases of obesity across all racial and ethnic groups (range between 126 and 185 cases per 100,000 people) and all income groups (range between 152 and 186 cases per 100,000 people). CONCLUSIONS: Calorie labeling at large fast-food chains is estimated to be a cost-saving intervention to improve long-term population health. Calorie labeling is a low-cost intervention that is already implemented across the U.S. in large chain restaurants.
Dupuis, Roxanne; Block, Jason P.; Barrett, Jessica L.; Long, Michael W.; Petimar, Joshua; Ward, Zachary J.; Kenney, Erica L.; Musicus, Aviva A.; Cannuscio, Carolyn C.; Williams, David R.; Bleich, Sara N.; and Gortmaker, Steven L., "Cost Effectiveness of Calorie Labeling at Large Fast-Food Chains Across the U.S" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3254.
Prevention and Community Health