As menu labeling legislation that requires nutritional information on restaurant menus becomes increasingly prevalent, it is controversial whether the provision of nutritional information promotes consumers to select healthy items. This study aims to examine the extent to which the nutritional information presented on menus influences consumer food evaluation and choice in restaurant patronage. We also investigate the effect of menu context and individual characteristics, such as nutritional knowledge and motivation to process, on consumers' information processing. A computer-based experiment was conducted to collect data. The results show significant effects of the presence of nutritional information and the menu context, which is the healthiness of other alternatives on the menu, on consumer food decision. Consumer motivation to process the provided nutritional information significantly moderates the effect of nutritional information disclosure. These results present valuable implications for restaurateurs and policy makers interested in the effect of menu labeling. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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