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Despite menu changes, calorie and sodium levels in chain restaurant entrees remain the same overall
Date:9/30/2013

eir health by making dietary choices from menus that are loaded with high-calorie, high-sodium options," Wu said. "This is a game that health-conscious consumers have a very low chance of winning, given the set of menu offerings available in U.S. chain restaurants today."

More change could be seen with a longer-term study, and after the federal menu labeling requirement of the Affordable Act Care is implemented, but multiple strategies will be needed to make progress on restaurant menu nutrition.

"The implementation of a national menu labeling law could be an important strategy to accelerate progress on menu nutrition in restaurants by encouraging more substantial menu nutrition changes," Wu said.

"Maybe some more encouragement is needed, as in the Choose Health LA Restaurants program that the Department of Public Health started in September," Sturm said. "Restaurants participating can post a large decal in their window if they offer smaller portion sizes and healthier children's meals with less fried food and more fruits and vegetables."

In the United States, 82 percent of adults eat out at least once a week. Previous research has shown that increased consumption of food away from home is associated with increased consumption of calories, fat and sodium. Currently, two-thirds of U.S. adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are obese or overweight.


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Contact: Helen Wu, Ph.D.
helen.wu@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-4096
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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