5707 N. 22nd Street
Tampa, FL 33610
P:813.272.2244
F:813.272.3766

Make Donation

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Turn Off Those ScreensKids' Sun Safety Means 'Slip, Slap, Slop'Pediatricians Missing Elevated Blood Lead Levels in U.S.AAP Stresses Medical Home Best for Acute Health ConcernsAre Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?Checklist for Family-Centered Rounds Deemed BeneficialChildren With Suspected Child Abuse Present to Hospital LateCancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: StudyModel Predicts Which Pediatric ER Patients Likely to Be AdmittedObesity Quadruples Kids' Type 2 Diabetes Risk: StudyAre You Raising an 'Emotional Eater'?More Risks on School Playgrounds Linked to Happier ChildrenKids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling DiesIn America's Poorest Communities, a Greater Risk of Child Abuse DeathsFDA Warns Against Children Taking Codeine, TramadolNext Seven Great Achievements in Pediatric Research PredictedMany Students Reluctant to Use Asthma Inhalers at SchoolDon't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDAMany Kids Still Being Injured on ATVsHypnosis Doesn't Improve Post-Op Anxiety, Pain in ChildrenHealth Tip: Minimizing Violence During Screen TimeHealth Tip: Concerned About Your Child's Weight?What's the Best Seasonal Allergy Med for Your Kid?Web-Based Platform Better for Delivering Pre-Op InformationKids Can Pick Up Nicotine on Their HandsHealth Tip: Checking Your Child's MolesCould a Clinical Trial Help Your Child?Direct-Acting Antivirals Approved for Children 12+ With HCVWhen Families Lack Insurance, Kids' Dental Woes Rise10 Minutes of Sweat a Day Helps Kids' HeartsOutdoor Play May Foster Little EnvironmentalistsHealth Tip: Is Your Child Sleeping Enough?Red Cell Distribution Width Predicts Surgical ComplicationsFar Fewer Kids Are Dying Worldwide, but Gains Are UnevenVaccinating Pregnant Moms Protects Babies From Whooping CoughMost U.S. Kids Who Die From Flu Are UnvaccinatedCommon Post-Op Ear Drops Tied to Eardrum Perforations in KidsParents' Pot Use a Tricky Topic When It Comes to Their KidsHealth Tip: Help Your Child with Body ImageLead Exposure as Child, Lower IQ as Adult?Just 17 U.S. States Require Defibrillators in Some SchoolsMany Kids With Diabetes Missing Out on Eye Exams, Study FindsOlder Mothers May Raise Better-Behaved Kids, Study SuggestsHealth Tip: Check Your Child's TemperatureFruit Juice for Kids: A Serving a Day OK'Eraser Challenge' Latest Harmful Social Media Trend for Kids'Heads Up' Football Program Tackles Concussion Danger in KidsParents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness StrikesSpring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinet to Safeguard Your KidsFewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on Opioids
Links
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Care
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)
Childhood Special Education

Despite Pledges, No Improvement in Chain Restaurant Kids' Menus: Study

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jan 11th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. chain restaurants have not followed through on promises to boost the nutritional quality of their kids' menus, a new study contends.

Under a 2011 National Restaurant Association initiative, some chain restaurants pledged to reduce calories, saturated fat and salt in their children's menu items. By 2015, more than 150 chains with 42,000 locations in the United States were participating in the program, the study authors said.

However, those companies made no significant improvements in those areas over three years, according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

The investigators also said that sugary drinks still accounted for 80 percent of children's beverage options -- despite restaurant promises to lower that proportion.

"Although some healthier options were available in select restaurants, there is no evidence that these voluntary pledges have had an industry-wide impact," lead author Alyssa Moran, doctoral student in the department of nutrition, said in a Harvard news release.

In 2011 and 2012, more than one in three American children and teens ate fast-food every day, the study authors noted.

One nutritionist wasn't surprised by the findings.

"It's sad but true. You aren't going to find truly healthy fare at the majority of fast-food restaurants," said Dana Angelo White. She's a registered dietitian who is a clinical assistant professor of sports medicine at Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Conn.

"Sodium and sugar are especially hard to avoid in the types of highly processed foods these places offer," she added. "Voluntary pledges and minuscule tweaks to menus can't change the culture of fast-food."

In a statement, the National Restaurant Association responded to the findings.

"We have just received this study and are currently reviewing it. Kids Live Well was started to promote healthy eating among children, and we welcome any opportunity to encourage children to make healthy choices," said Leslie Shedd, the group's vice president of communications.

Antonella Apicella is outpatient dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She agreed with White that, "to date, there are no nutrition requirements for children's meals in chain restaurants."

Apicella believes the new study "demonstrates the need to establish standardized regulations among chain restaurants, as established in school breakfast and lunch programs."

The Harvard researchers agreed, advocating partnerships between the restaurant industry, government agencies, researchers, and public health experts to improve kids' meals. Restaurant commitments to improve the nutritional quality of their kids' menus items should also be monitored, the study authors said.

The study was published online Jan. 11 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on nutrition.