Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageDespite push for healthier options, restaurant meals the same

By Mike White     Oct 4, 2013 in Food
While many restaurants have made changes to their menus to make their meals more "healthy," in most of them, the number of calories and sodium is the same, a new study reported.
In 2010, an entree at a chain restaurant in the United States was an average of 670 calories. A year later, in the spring of 2011, it was the same. The Huffington Post reported researchers from the Rand Corporation and the Institute for Population Health Improvement at U.C. Davis Health System conducted the study.
Sodium levels did not improve much either, according to the study. In 2010, the average amount of sodium in a restaurant chain meal was 1,515 milligrams. The next year it was 1,500 milligrams.
Helen Wu, a policy and research analyst at the Institute for Population Health Improvement, said restaurants seem to take "one step forward, one step back." She said although restaurants make changes to their menus often, and some of the changes are healthy, unhealthy changes are also often made at the same time. She said the "objective" evidence did not show overall a trend toward healthy options at restaurants replacing unhealthy ones.
The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It involved 213 restaurants, with 26,256 options from them. There were a total of 1,794 children's menu items. A wide range of restaurants were involved in the study, including restaurants that specialized in pizza, family, upscale, fast-food, fast-casual, Italian, Asian, sandwiches, steaks, seafood and snacks.
The time period of the study was chosen to analyze how restaurants fared after the passage of the federal-menu labeling law. Researchers wanted to test the validity of claims of healthier menu items.
Research showed ten percent of restaurants offered more healthy options overall. It also showed, however, that seven percent of restaurants offered less healthy options.
According to, the 26 restaurants that did offer menu items with less sodium, lessened it by 707 mg. on average.
Wu added that restaurant consumers need to know that in a restaurant they "are playing a high-stakes game with their health by making dietary choices from menus that are loaded with high-calorie, high-sodium options," reported.
More about push for healthier options, Despite, restaurant meals, the same, Calories
More news from
Latest News
Top News