Effects of Menu Labeling Policies on Transnational Restaurant Chains to Promote a Healthy Diet: A Scoping Review to Inform Policy and Research
Rincón-Gallardo Patiño, Sofía
da Silva Gomes, Fabio
Hedrick, Valisa E.
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There is insufficient evidence that restaurant menu labeling policies are cost-effective strategies to reduce obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Evidence suggests that menu labeling has a modest effect on calories purchased and consumed. No review has been published on the effect of menu labeling policies on transnational restaurant chains globally. This study conducted a two-step scoping review to map and describe the effect of restaurant menu labeling policies on menu reformulation. First, we identified national, state, and municipal menu labeling policies in countries from global databases. Second, we searched four databases (i.e., PubMed, CINHAL/EBSCO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar) for peer-reviewed studies and gray-literature sources in English and Spanish (2000–2020). Step 1 identified three voluntary and eight mandatory menu labeling policies primarily for energy disclosures for 11 upper-middle and high-income countries, but none for low- or middle-income countries. Step 2 identified 15 of 577 studies that met the inclusion criteria. The analysis showed reductions in energy for newly introduced menu items only in the United States. We suggesr actions for governments, civil society organizations, and the restaurant businesses to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive menu labeling policies to determine whether these may reduce obesity and NCD risks worldwide.