Friday, April 12, 2013

Report is critical of restaurant kids meals' nutrition.

NBC Nightly News (3/28, story 11, 0:30, Williams, 7.86M) reported, "The people at the Center for Science and the Public Interest are telling us what most parents already know full well: Most kids' meals at most chain restaurants have too many calories, too much salt, too much fat, not enough healthy ingredients, though they have gotten better."
        The New York Times (3/29, Strom, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) reports the "study of the nutritional quality of meals for children on the menus of the nation's largest chain restaurants...found that 91 percent do not even meet the standards set by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell program" and that 97 percent of restaurant children's meals didn't meet the Center's standards. A similar study in 2008 found 99 percent didn't meet the standards, and Margo G. Wootan, the Center's director of nutrition policy, "said she had expected a more significant improvement, particularly since many restaurant chains have been promoting their healthier options for youngsters."
        The Los Angeles Times (3/28, Macvean, 692K) reports Wootan said at a press conference that eating out is one of "the many reasons for obesity." The Times notes that "CSPI regularly issues reports critical of fast-food, snack food and beverages and other aspects of the food industry." Still, Ameena Batada, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina who conducted the study, said there was "some 'good news'...Nearly half the chains offer at least one healthier meal."
        USA Today (3/28, Hellmich, 1.71M) reports, "Joy Dubost, director of nutrition for the National Restaurant Association, says the industry has been rapidly expanding its offering of healthy meals through the Kids LiveWell program." However, the study found that "nine of the top chain restaurants, including McDonald's, do not have a single kids' meal that meets" those standards. Also covering this story are Reuters (3/29, Bartz), the website of CBS News (3/29, Castillo), and the "Health" blog of the Dallas Morning News (3/29, Barker, 430K).

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