Many quick-service restaurants (QSRs) instituted voluntary kids’ meal default beverage standards (standards) between 2013 to 2017. Little is known about impacts of standards on QSR drive-through practices and on customer choices. This study assessed differences in restaurant practices including kids’ meal beverages shown on menu boards, offered by cashiers, and selected by customers in QSRs with and without voluntary standards. Observations (n = 111) and customer surveys (n = 84) were conducted in 2018 at QSRs with standards (n = 70) and without (n = 41) in low-income California, U.S. neighborhoods. Kids’ meal beverages on menu boards (n = 149) and offered by cashiers (n = 185) at QSRs with and without standards were analyzed using multilevel logistic regression. Significantly more menu boards at QSRs with standards (n = 103) vs. without (n = 46) featured only milk, water or unsweetened juice (65.1% vs. 4.4%; p < 0.001). Most cashiers at QSRs with standards and QSRs without (53.1%, 62.5%) asked what drink the data collector wanted rather than first offering default beverages. A small sample of customer interviews found that customers at QSRs with standards most commonly ordered juice (37.0%); at QSRs without standards, soda (45.5%). Although menu boards showed healthier kids’ meal beverages at QSRs with standards than without, cashier behavior was inconsistent. Results suggest additional measures (legislation, implementation support, enforcement) may be needed to ensure optimal implementation.
Published: July 2020
ID #: CAS059
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Authors: Harpainter P, Hewawitharana SC, Lee DL, Martin AC, Gosliner W, Ritchie LD, Woodward-Lopez G
Restaurant kids’ meal beverage offerings before and after implementation of healthy default beverage policy statewide in California compared with citywide in Wilmington, DelawareIn 2019, California and Wilmington, Delaware implemented policies requiring healthier default beverages with restaurant kids’ meals. The current study assessed restaurant beverage offerings and manager perceptions. Pre-implementation, the most common kids’ meal beverages on California menus were unflavored milk and water (78·8 %, 52·0 %); in Wilmington, juice, milk and sugar-sweetened beverages were most common More
Healthy default beverage policies for kids’ meals: A statewide baseline assessment of restaurant managers’ perceptions and knowledge in DelawareThis study evaluated restaurant managers’ knowledge and support of a healthy default beverage policy in Delaware that had passed, but not yet gone into effect. We conducted structured in-person interviews with managers (n = 50) from full-service and quick-service chain and non-chain restaurants (QSRs) using a stratified random sample. Managers were interviewed about the number More
Assessing the Implementation of Kids’ Meals Healthy Default Beverage Policies in the State of California and City of Wilmington, Del.Healthy default beverage (HDB) policies are one policy approach to limiting kids’ sugary drink consumption and encouraging healthier beverage consumption. These policies specifically require restaurants to offer only healthier drinks (e.g., water, milk, 100% juice) instead of sugary drinks as the default options with kids’ meals, a combination of food and drink items sold as More