Sunday, March 29, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Davis sewage to get new digs

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Where do Davis recyclables go?

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
 
Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Friendship the topic on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
.

Forum

A phone call could have fixed this

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Milt Prigee cartoon

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Some ‘survey’ …

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
These results were meaningless

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Survey not representative

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Answers on the green waste program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

 
Universities need more funding

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Father of the bride snubbed

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

 
After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

Take a hike for your heart

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Aggie softball splits doubleheader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie women’s tennis dominates at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Millennials are changing our community

By Rob White | From Page: A9

With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8