Navigation Links
Nutritious fast-food kids' meals are scarce, researchers find
Date:12/22/2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. Only 3 percent of kids' meals served at fast-food restaurants met federal dietary guidelines in the first study to examine the nutrient quality of such meals in a major U.S. metropolitan market.

Michigan State University's Sharon Hoerr, a food science and human nutrition researcher with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, teamed up with economist Sharon O'Donnell and pediatrician Jason Mendoza from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to assess the nutritional status of kids' meals in the Houston market.

The small percentage of meals that did meet dietary guidelines included fruit as a side dish and milk, and nearly all were deli-sandwich meals. They also had about one-third the fat, one-sixth the added sugars, twice the iron and three times the amount of vitamin A and calcium as did meals not meeting the criteria.

"This report is the first to characterize and compare the nutrient quality of all combinations of fast-food kids' meals in a major metropolitan market," Hoerr said. "Because 25 percent of children aged 4 to 8 years consume fast food on a typical day, the diet quality of kids' meals offered by fast-food companies contributes significantly to their overall health and well-being.

"Two trends motivate the need for an evaluation of the nutrient quality of fast-food kids' meals: the increased prevalence of childhood obesity and the amount of food consumed away from home."

The team assessed the quality of kids' meals in the fourth largest U.S. city by using nutrient values provided by the major fast food companies, the seven nutrient criteria from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and dietary guidelines for sodium, fiber, added sugar and trans fat.

"We chose Houston because its fast-food restaurants include 12 of the 13 national and regional fast-food companies, represented by 477 restaurants that sell kids meals," O'Donnell said. "Virtually every meal combination is offered in this market, so it provides a pretty comprehensive snapshot of what's out there."

Of the meals that did not meet the NSLP guidelines, more than 65 percent exceeded guidelines for total fat, 75 percent were deficient in calcium, 82 percent were deficient in iron and 85 percent were deficient in vitamin A.

The choice of main entree by itself didn't influence the nutrient content of typical meals studied, the group found, but side choices did. Raisins appeared to be the most nutritious fruit side, due to their high iron content.

"This suggests that parents should carefully read the nutrition information to determine what is included in these meals," Hoerr said. "Sparing use of dipping sauces and other condiments will also help to keep sodium, added sugars and fat low."

Although only a small percentage of the meals met NSLP guidelines, researchers believe fast-food kids' meals can be designed to taste good and meet a basic level of nutrient quality.

"Fast-food companies are not required to produce meals that meet the nutrient protocol of the NSLP, so finding even a small percentage of meals that met the protocol is encouraging," Mendoza said. "Further, 42 percent of all the meal combinations in the study met four or more of the criteria."

Hoerr and her colleagues agree it is the responsibility of the restaurant industry to develop and market more nutritious kids' meal options and for parents to choose healthy kids' meals for their children.

"Through public policy efforts and purchasing choices, parents, physicians, consumer groups, policymakers and public health professionals can deliver a strong, united message to fast-food companies that kids' meals are most desirable when they are nutritious as well as tasty," Hoerr said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Hoerr
hoerrs@msu.edu
517-355-8474
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Grocery Shoppers Are Following Stars to More Nutritious Choices
2. Wholly Guacamole Quick & Nutritious Entertaining Tips Offer Skinny Dippin, Zesty Grillin and Summertime Freedom for All
3. Nestle Juicy Juice Kicks Off Summer Promoting Nutritious, Active Lifestyle Choices Among Latino Children, Families
4. Kidfresh Offers a Solution to the Rise of Unhealthy Eating Among Children With Fresh and Nutritious Prepared Meals for Kids
5. Many Parents Share Genetic Test Findings With Kids
6. Time to Set Kids Back-to-School Sleep Clocks
7. Doctors Often Miss High Blood Pressure in Kids
8. Traffic Fumes Plus Genes Boosts Kids Asthma Risk
9. FDA Approves First Anti-Psychotic for Kids
10. Sleepless Kids Are Troubled Kids
11. Heart Attacks at School Involve More Adults Than Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nutritious fast-food kids' meals are scarce, researchers find
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... digital self-scheduling readily available to physicians. The integration will enable Allscripts users ... select appointments via Everseat’s free mobile app. , The partnership gives Everseat substantial ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... 32224, February 26th: Amateur & Professional Divisions - Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm ... 10:00pm | Ticket Prices $30, Social Media: http://www.USPoleSportsFed.org , Facebook: ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... Workrite Ergonomics, who is celebrating their 25th year of ... to being an internationally recognized leader in their industry. , "We are very proud ... President of Workrite. “Workrite recognized the importance of good ergonomics before most of ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Anxiety of older Americans over steep cost increases of prescription drugs is at ... to The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Since last fall, TSCL has ... costs. “The implications are chilling, particularly for people with chronic health problems,” says ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... and staff helped give free oral screenings to 150 children in kindergarten through ... , The College of Dental Medicine joined Chinese American Dental Society of Southern ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016 Immune Pharmaceuticals ... company, announced today that it has filed a patent ... and other cancers. --> ... cancer by administration of Ceplene (histamine dihydrochloride) in combination ... methods of predicting the efficacy of Ceplene and IL-2 ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  The ALS Association, in partnership with ... Challenge to generate a biomarker to track TDP43 aggregation. The ... to a $1 million investment. --> ... that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal ... and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , Feb. 10, ... result of a synergistic confluence of various ... unique value propositions, previously unavailable. These opportunities ... convergence and convergence, in turn, drives the ... Today,s entrepreneurial scenario is characterized by technology ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: