At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • The dataset provides information on whether the menu item appears on a kids menu, is offered only regionally or as part of a limited-time offer, or is meant to be shared.
  • The nutritional content of categories of food (e.g., burgers, pizza) can be compared across restaurants. For a limited number of items, serving size have been standardized so that portion sizes can be easily compared across restaurants.
  • Provides date-stamped nutrition data on 35,000+ menu items available at 66 of the largest restaurant chains. Data are obtained from the restaurant websites. The nutritional content of menu items can be compared over time.

Website

http://MenuStat.org/

Purpose

To collect nutrition data about menu items in the largest restaurant chains in the United States.

Target Population

Menu items from the largest chain restaurants in the United States.

Conducted

Began in 2012. Conducted every January. Most recent year conducted was 2013.

Sponsor

MenuStat was built by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with funding in part from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Special Note(s)

For questions, contact MenuStat@health.nyc.gov.

Sampling

Sample Design

Longitudinal. MenuStat currently includes data from 2012 and 2013, from January of each year. The following nutrition data were collected from restaurant websites: menu item name; serving size; servings per item; calories; total fat; saturated fat; trans fat; sodium; potassium; cholesterol; carbohydrates; dietary fiber; sugar; and protein. Other descriptive features were collected, such as whether an item appears on a kids menu, is meant to be shared, or is a limited-time offer or region-specific. Data will be collected annually. Item-level nutrition information was used as a primary source and downloadable nutrition menus were used as a secondary source.

Sample Size

Approximately 35,000 menu items in 2012 and 2013 from 66 restaurant chains. The sample size will increase as additional restaurants are added over time.

Special Note(s)

Information presented in MenuStat reflects the completeness and accuracy of data as presented on the restaurant websites.

Key Variables

Diet-Related

Name
Restaurant Name
Year
Serving Size
Calories
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Cholesterol
Sodium
Potassium
Carbohydrates
Fiber
Sugar
Protein
Menu type (e.g., breakfast, kids)
Regional/limited availability

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Data can be exported with the MenuStat query tool

Cost

Free

Special Note(s)

None

Geocode/Linkage

Geocode Variable(s)

None

Existing Linkages

None

Selected Publications