Navigation Links
Menu labeling requirements lead to healthier options at chain restaurants
Date:7/19/2012

Philadelphia, PA, July 19, 2012 The recent Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for national requirements about posting nutritional information at chain restaurants. Listing calories, fat content, and sodium levels of menu items at the point of purchase has been promoted as a way to address the obesity epidemic. Increased awareness may lead to healthier consumer choices, and may encourage restaurants to adapt their menus to meet demand. A new study has evaluated the real-life impact of menu labeling in King County, Washington, after new regulations were implemented, and has found some improvement, although most entres continue to exceed recommended nutritional guidelines. The study is available online in advance of publication in the August issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"Frequent consumption of food away from home is associated with higher caloric intake and higher fat. As noted by the Food and Drug Administration, the cost of the obesity epidemic to families, businesses, and the government was over $117 billion in 2010," says lead investigator Barbara Bruemmer, PhD, RD, senior lecturer emeritus of the Program in Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle. "All of these issues underscore the need for environmental approaches to help consumers who are looking for better options."

King County was one of the first jurisdictions to implement menu labeling, in January 2009. The regulations applied to any restaurant with 15 or more establishments in the United States and at least $1 million in annual sales. Dr. Bruemmer and her colleagues wanted to learn whether restaurants would improve their entres by reformulating items so that they had fewer calories and would replace some menu items with healthier alternatives.

The investigators audited menus at 11 sit-down restaurants and 26 quick-serve chains. They evaluated the nutritional levels of entres that were on the menu six months after the regulations went into effect and remained on the menu 12 months later, to determine whether individual menu items had been reformulated to improve their nutritional profiles. They also looked at whether all entres had a better nutrition profile. "We also wanted to know how healthy foods at chain restaurants were overall. How do these meals stack up compared to what we should be aiming for in a good diet?" Dr. Bruemmer said. So they compared the nutritional values of entres at the restaurants in their study to US Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines.

"We did find evidence of a decrease in energy, saturated fat, and sodium content after the implementation of menu regulations for items that were on the menu at both time periods," reports Dr. Bruemmer. "We also saw a trend for healthier alternatives across all entres over time, but only in the sit-down restaurants."

However, the study found that the majority of entres were still very high in energy, saturated fats, and sodium, compared to dietary guidelines. "56% of entrees exceeded the recommended level for 1/3 of an adult's daily needs, while 77% of the entrees exceeded the guidelines for saturated fats, and almost 90% exceeded the sodium guidelines. Yes, we saw improvements, but there is still a long way to go. Those are pretty hefty servings for adults."

A decline of 41 calories in entres was seen between the two time periods. "While that doesn't sound like very much, it is an improvement and it is statistically significant," says Dr. Bruemmer. "41 fewer calories could easily translate into several pounds lost over a year for an adult. It's modest, but it's a start."

With national guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration expected later this year, Dr. Bruemmer says that consumers need more options in the marketplace and clearer messages about how to use menu labeling information. "People can only respond to what's available in the environment. If we haven't yet seen people say, 'Oh, I found something that meets my needs,' well, maybe it's because there aren't enough moderate options available on the menu. Menu labeling will help people get a handle on this 'list' of calories, at the point where they're making their decisions and putting down their money. This is where America is providing a lot of food to our children. Let's give families a chance to make an informed decision," she concludes.

In an accompanying audio presentation, Dr. Bruemmer discusses the implications of the menu labeling for chain restaurant management, nutrition practitioners, and policy-makers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eileen Leahy
andjrnlmedia@elsevier.com
732-238-3628
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. For Healthier Eating, Keep Fruits, Veggies Within Reach
2. Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges US Navy Veterans Or Individuals With Mesothelioma To Call Them For The Names Of The Best Mesothelioma Attorneys & Treatment Options
3. Version 2.0 of Award-Winning Proloquo2Go App for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch Speeds Up Communication, Adds New Voices and Customization Options
4. Global, common approach to pharmaceutical supply chain integrity the focus of workshop
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear ... a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: