Tuesday, September 2, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Restaurant menus remain unhealthy, study finds

By
From page A4 | October 03, 2013 |

While chain restaurants have added healthier entrees, their menus’ overall calorie and sodium counts haven’t budged.

“Across the restaurant industry, we see a pattern of one step forward, one step back,” said Helen Wu, policy and research analyst at the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health System.

“Restaurants make changes to their menus regularly, but they may make both healthy and unhealthy changes simultaneously.”

Wu Roland Sturm, senior economist at the RAND Corp., examined 26,000 entrees in a year from 213 chain restaurants. Their study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In 2010, the average entrée contained 670 calories. A year later: 670 calories. Sodium levels dropped from 1,515 to 1,500 milligrams per entrée.

The researchers also found no changes in calories when they zoomed in on entrees that were added or changed between 2010 and 2011.

At family-style restaurants, new menu items at the 75th percentile — those with higher sodium levels to start — were 70 mg lower in sodium in 2011, but still too high in sodium for anyone watching their sodium intake.

Children’s entrees did not become healthier during the period studied. Fast-food restaurant entrees for kids were 40 calories lower, on average, however.

The study looked at menu changes in the year following passage of a federal menu-labeling mandate passed as part of the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue final regulations directing restaurant to post calorie information on menus, though some restaurants have done so.

Wu said that once those regulations are put into place, it menus may begin to improve.

For now, though, “Consumers need to be aware that when they step into 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.”

This new study is a follow-up to a 2012 study by the same researchers. It found 96 percent of entrees by top U.S. chain restaurants failed to meet daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Americans consume about one-third of their total calories and spend half of their food budget eating away from home, according to UCD.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden.

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
.

News

Davis not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

 
Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

 
Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

 
A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
.

Sports

DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7