Research & Publications | Healthy Eating Research

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Unsavory Choices: The High Sodium Density of U.S. Chain Restaurant Foods

Drawing from a larger study on restaurant nutrition, this cross-sectional study reports on the sodium density of 30,073 menu items from 237 unique U.S. chain restaurant brands in 2010. Sodium density, defined as mg sodium per 1000 kcal, was evaluated with descriptive statistics and stratified by restaurant characteristics (service model and cuisine), menu type (regular More

Date: June 2015

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Diet Quality & Healthy Weight Food Retail

Changes in the Energy and Sodium Content of Main Entrées in U.S. Chain Restaurants from 2010 to 2011

This article examines changes in the energy and sodium content of main entrées among a study population of 213 U.S. chain restaurant brands. Data were collected in spring 2010–when the Affordable Care Act was passed, which included a federal menu labeling requirement–and spring 2011. Entrées that changed between the time points were classified as removed More

Date: September 2013

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail

What’s on the Menu? A Review of the Energy and Nutritional Content of U.S. Chain Restaurant Menus

This paper discusses availability of nutrition information and nutritional content of menu items in the largest chain restaurants in the United States. Researchers examined the nutritional content of 30,923 menu items–including items from children’s menus–from 245 restaurants across the country. They found that while most main entrees did not exceed 667 calories, which is one-third More

Date: January 2013

Resource Type: Journal Article

Focus Areas: Food Retail

Investigating whether Menu-Labeling Laws Lead California Restaurants to Modify the Nutritional Contents of their Offerings

The implementation of a new California law on January 1, 2011, will require chain restaurants to label calories on menus. This study will test the hypothesis that restaurants subject to a calorie labeling law are more likely to improve the caloric and nutritional content of menu items, compared to restaurants not subject to the law. More

Date: November 2010

Resource Type: Grant Summary

Focus Areas: Food Retail