Nov. 15, 2013,
U.S. News & World Report
By Kathleen Doheny
Posting the calorie content of menu items at restaurants is designed to make diners stop and think, tally up the total, and make wiser choices.
In real life, that doesn’t seem to be the case, according to new research.
In a poll of 2,000 Philadelphia fast food customers, aged 18 to 64, few used the information, even if they noticed it, said study author Brian Elbel, an assistant professor of population health and health policy at the New York Univesity School of Medicine.
“Forty percent of the sample saw it and about 10 percent [overall] said they used it and reported to us that they purchased fewer calories,” he said. Continue reading
Nov. 22, 2013,
Journal of Public Health
According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adults who read calorie information when it is available at fast food and chain restaurants tend to use the information when purchasing food. The authors, including Heidi Blanck, chief of CDC’s Obesity Prevention and Control Branch and member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, found that 95.4 percent of those who read calorie information used it at least sometimes when making their food choices. The study was published online this week in the Journal of Public Health. Continue reading
July 9, 2013,
The Huffington Post
By Michele Simon
Last month, I participated in an important panel at a childhood obesity conference to discuss the current strategy backed by some advocacy groups: asking industry to market “healthier” foods to children. But as Susan Linn and I recently argued, any marketing to children is harmful, regardless of the product’s nutritional content.
Instead of begging corporations to tweak the grams of sugar, fat and salt that these highly processed junk foods contain, we should demand that industry stop exploiting children altogether. Some advocates argue this approach is too radical. But it’s actually far more practical and ultimately more effective because of certain key tactics that industry uses to target children. Continue reading
May 23, 2013,
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
While some fast food chains are required to provide calorie and other nutritional information to help customers make informed choices, kids who eat fast food at least twice a week are 50 percent less likely to use this information than kids who eat fast food less often, according to a new U.S. study.
Those most likely to use the calorie information are girls and children who are obese, said the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading
May 16, 2013,
By Christopher Wanjek
Fast food restaurants are serving healthier options, although only marginally so, according to a study published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
You may have known that changes were afoot in the fast food restaurants most vilified by doctors for serving unhealthy fare. McDonald’s, Burger King and others now offer salad, fruit, and skim milk. The new offerings, advertised prominently, would make one think that a trip to the local burger joint is suddenly heart-healthy, and waistline-friendly.
Not quite, said Mary Hearst, director of public health at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., and lead author on the report. Continue reading
May 8, 2013,
Los Angeles Times
By Mary Macvean
Adolescents who went to McDonald’s and Subway in Los Angeles bought about the same number of calories at each, despite Subway’s reputation as a healthier place to eat, researchers said.
The menus are not the point, lead researcher Dr. Lenard Lesser of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute said by phone. “Our study was not based on what people have the ability to pick, our study was based on what adolescents actually selected in a real-world setting.”
The adolescents bought an average of 1,038 calories at McDonald’s and 955 calories at Subway. The calorie difference was not statistically significant, the researchers said. Their work was published May 6 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Continue reading
By analyzing the food menus from the top fast-food restaurant chains in America, new research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that these restaurants do not offer many menu items that meet dietary guidelines for healthy eating. Even those menu items that were part of the kid’s menu or marketed specifically as healthy, still fell far short of meeting dietary recommendations for fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Continue reading
This study sought to determine whether children (aged 9–18 years) who live in households that have healthful practices related to behaviors associated with obesity have a lower body mass index (BMI). Continue reading
Nov. 29, 2012,
By Barbara Bronson Gray
You’d like a salad? Want some fries with that?
A new study shows that providing more menu options on a fast-food menu doesn’t mean the average diner chows down fewer calories.
Researchers found that although there has been a 53 percent increase in the total number of menu offerings over the last 14 years, the average calorie content of foods sold by eight of the major U.S. fast-food chains has not changed much. Continue reading
Aug. 12, 2012, Global News
By Sheryl Ubelacker
Children are far more likely to pick a healthier fast-food meal when promotional toys are offered only with those menu options and not with less nutritional fare like burgers, fries, and a pop, a study has found.
Canadian researchers set out to see which McDonald’s Happy Meals that kids age 6 to 12 would choose when toys were included with healthier menu combinations, but not with standard offerings that are typically higher in fat and salt. Continue reading