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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Resource Economics

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The United States has implemented many policies to target obesity. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has mandated that restaurants must label the calorie content of the food they provide on menus and menu boards. Previous literature suggests that this policy will cause a small subset of consumers to improve the nutritional quality of the food they consume. Restaurants’ responses to the policy are not as well studied but existing literature suggests that menu items become slightly healthier after the introduction of various local policies. This paper seeks to assess the impact of a nationally-instituted nutrition labeling policy on fast-food nutritional content. We find evidence that restaurants both improve the healthfulness of pre-existing food items and introduce new food items of substantially lower nutritional quality.


First Advisor

Emily Wang

Second Advisor

Nathalie Lavoie

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.