252550 Assessing Healthful Food Choices and Nutritional Information on Kid's Restaurant Menus in Fargo, ND

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:30 PM

Anthony Randles, MPH , Bureau of Health Promotions, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Topeka, KS
Gary Liguori , Department 2620, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Anita Gust, MS , Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Background: This study was designed to examine Kids' restaurant menus to determine the level of promoting and offering healthy choices. Methods: The Nutrition Environment Measures Survey- Restaurant (NEMS-R) was used in 128 restaurants throughout Fargo, North Dakota between April and August, 2009. Researchers went to each restaurant individually and applied the NEMS-R to each menu. The NEMS-R assessed the overall level of promotion of healthful items and the offering of nutritional information on kids menu's at fast food and full service restaurants.

Results: Nutritional information was available in 30% of restaurants surveyed, yet 47% did offer healthy entrees, defined as ‘baked', ‘broiled', or ‘grilled'. Healthy side items were offered at 48% of restaurants, with 9% of the “assigned” sides considered healthy, and 18% offered request only healthy side. Low fat or nonfat milk was available at 32% of restaurants, and 61% did offered 100% fruit juice. However, 93% offered free refills on pop, yet no free refills on milk or juice. Eleven percent of kids' menus routinely included a dessert, yet only 9% had any healthy desserts available (e.g. fruit).

Discussion: These results indicate that Kids' menus are lacking both information and healthy choices, which may be a prompt to encourage public policy change towards improving signage and offerings on Kid's menus. These types of changes may result in parents being able to make healthier food choices for their children leading to healthier children and adults in the future.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the influence restaurant type has on healthy eating choices and signs on kids menus. Identify the association between restaurant type and nutritional information availability.

Keywords: Health Information, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a current doctoral candidate I have attended NEMS Train-the-Trainer training and conduct NEMS workshops throughout North Dakota. I am current the Physical Activity/Nutrition Program Manager for KDHE and I have also worked as a program manager for the NIH-funded KCBEST environmental study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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