15 June 2022 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To test the efficacy of calorie labelling for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages on restaurant menus on noticing calorie information, calorie knowledge, and perceived and actual influence on hypothetical beverage orders.

METHODS: Participants included upper-level university students of legal drinking age residing in Ontario, Canada (n = 283). Using a between-groups experiment, participants were randomized to view one of two menus: (1) No Calorie Information (control), and (2) Calorie Information adjacent to each beverage. Participants completed a hypothetical ordering task, and measures related to noticing calorie information, calorie knowledge, and actual and perceived influence of calorie information on beverages ordered were assessed. Linear, logistic, and multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the four outcomes.

RESULTS: The odds of noticing calorie information were significantly higher in the Calorie Information (72.6%) versus No Calorie Information condition (8.0%) (OR = 43.7, 95% CI: 16.8, 113.8). Compared to those in the No Calorie Information condition, participants in the Calorie Information condition had significantly lower odds of responding 'Don't know' (OR = 0.04, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.09), underestimating (OR = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.2), and overestimating (OR = 0.05, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.2) versus accurately estimating calories in beverages ordered. No significant differences were observed between menu labelling conditions in the calories in beverages ordered or the perceived influence of calorie information on the number of beverages ordered.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to menus with calorie information increased consumers noticing the calorie information, and accurately estimating calories in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages ordered. These results have implications for policy-makers considering mandatory menu labelling policy inclusive of alcoholic beverages.

21 July 2021 In General Health

BACKGROUND: College student drinking in on-premises establishments has been associated with heavy alcohol consumption and a range of problems including assault, fighting, risky sex, and drinking and driving. Although more strictly enforcing overservice laws might reduce heavy drinking in on-premises establishments, law enforcement agencies have few resource-efficient tools for doing so, resulting in these laws seldom being enforced.

OBJECTIVES: In this paper, we report the results of an evaluation of the Stop Service to Obviously-impaired Patrons (S-STOP) program that was implemented in 303 bars and restaurants in 18 university communities in California using a randomized cross-over design (early vs. delayed implementation). The S-STOP program: (a) deployed pseudo-intoxicated patrons who attempted to purchase a drink when showing obvious signs of intoxication; (b) provided feedback to owners and managers on staff performance; and (c) offered free online refresher training for staff.

RESULTS: Overall, alcohol servers in bars and restaurants in these college communities were willing to serve a pseudo-intoxicated mystery shopper 90% of the time. The study found no evidence that S-STOP reduced the prevalence of alcohol sales to apparently impaired patrons during the two intervention stages of the study.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the need for developing effective interventions to prevent overservice and should prompt college and university leaders to take the lead in addressing the problem of alcohol overservice at on-premises establishments by working with community leaders, law enforcement, and retailers.

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