Navigation Links
Many Gaps in Fast-Food Nutrition Information

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Even when fast-food restaurants list calorie counts for menu items, diners may still have a hard time using the information to make healthy meal choices, researchers report.

In the study, the scientists examined the calorie listings for 200 food items on menu boards from 12 restaurant chains in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem.

Too often, calorie counts were listed for combo meals or meals intended to serve multiple people, or had wide ranges in what the calorie count might be.

For example, a bucket of chicken was listed as having 3,240 to 12,360 calories, but the menu board did not provide enough information for consumers to determine the number of pieces of chicken in a serving size.

A listing for a sandwich combo meal said it ranged from 500 to 2,080 calories. However, no information was provided on how to order within the lower range of this menu item.

Under federal law, restaurants with 20 or more locations must provide calorie data and additional nutritional information for menu items and self-serve foods. Although the calorie information complied with U.S. labeling rules, consumers may have a tough time making sense of much of it, the study found.

"Menu postings for individual servings are easily understood, but complex math skills are needed to interpret meals designed to serve more than one person," wrote study author Elizabeth Gross Cohn, an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing, and colleagues. "In some items, calories doubled depending on flavor, and the calorie posting did not give enough information to make healthier selections."

Researchers suggested that calorie listings should do more than merely comply, but take into account what level of "math literacy" is needed to make use of the information. In a revised system, a breakfast sandwich, for example, would be listed as, "Egg with ham/bacon/sausage: 350/550/750," so consumers could know exactly how many calories various options would add.

"In low-income communities with a high density of chain restaurants, and where educational attainment of consumers may be low, simplifying calorie postings and minimizing the math required to calculate calories would increase menu-board utility," the researchers wrote.

The study was published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Urban Health.

More information

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers advice about dining out.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Columbia University Medical Center, news release, Feb. 23, 2012

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Fast-Food Outlets Nearby Might Not Cause Weight Gain
2. Fast-Food Outlets Near Schools May Not Be Making Teens Fat
3. Calorie Intake Rises When Fast-Food Restaurants Nearby: Study
4. Calorie Labels Dont Affect Kids Fast-Food Choices
5. Dietary Help Can Boost Cancer Patients Nutrition, But Not Survival
6. Updated American Cancer Society nutrition guidelines stress need for supportive environment
7. For Nutritional Punch, You Cant Beat Plant-Based Foods
8. Nutritional intervention helps in mild Alzheimers disease
9. Crowdsourcing nutrition in a snap
10. Do You Really Read Nutrition Labels?
11. Nutrition, Hydration Tips Can Give Marathon Runners a Leg Up
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style will be available at Target ... a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub Set 50% Off” for a ... discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to outfit every healer around the ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. EST, ... of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free gifts with purchases, there ... , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic needs, customers will save ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published November ... they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other ... to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special ... 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive ... a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today ... Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ... users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 27, 2015 --> ... go online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment ... far from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis ... either via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... India , November 27, ... --> --> ... personal emergency response system (PERS) ... steadily for 5 years with ... region expected to see a ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... use SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting of MRI ... and has signed a research agreement with SyntheticMR in order ... Using SyMRI, it is possible to generate multiple contrast images ... the patient has left, thus making it possible to both ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: