Saturday, January 30, 2010

Menu labeling helps parents make healthier choices for their kids

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics online journal reveals that listing nutritional information on fast-food restaurant menus increases the chances that parents will choose lower calorie meals for their children.

The study used McDonald’s menus to survey 99 parents of children age three to six about fast food selection for their children.  Researchers found that when parents were provided with caloric information at the point of purchase, they chose about 100 calories less for their children than parents who did not have the caloric information.  If you think about it, 100 calories over a long period of time is a lot!  If kids could cut 100 calories off every fast food meal they eat, it would do major things for childhood obesity in the U.S.

According to the study report, the amount of food consumed by American children has tripled between1977 and 1996, while child obesity statistics have skyrocketed in recent decades. The study results suggest that if parents have nutrition information at the point they are purchasing fast food for their children they actually make lower calorie, healthier choices for their families.  Let’s get on it DC!  Our families deserve it!