Healthy Eating Strategy #9: Increase and Promote Healthy Food Options in Restaurants

Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.  More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.




Healthy Eating Strategy #9: Increase and Promote Healthy Food Options in Restaurants

Healthier foods make people feel better than unhealthy foods, and people are often more satisfied with healthy menu items than with regular menu items. Offering healthier items on restaurant menus and promoting those items increases the opportunity for healthier dining choices.

 

Offering healthier items on restaurant menus and promoting those items increases the opportunity for customers to make healthier dining choices. Studies have found that with more availability of healthy choices, the demand for healthier items increases, although this effect was not consistently significant over time across studies. In addition, satisfaction with healthy menu items was significantly higher than satisfaction with regular menu items. Customers who patronized restaurants that promoted healthy options were
found to recognize the healthier menu items and increase their consumption of these healthier items at the restaurant.




References

  1. Bronx Health Reach. Bronx healthy hearts. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from: http://www.institute2000.org/bhr/work/nutrition_and_fitness/bronx_healthy_hearts.
  2. Economos, C.D., Folta, S.C., Goldberg, J., Hudson, D., Collins, J., Baker, Z., Lawson, E., & Nelson, M. (2009). A community-based restaurant initiative to increase availability of healthy menu options in Somerville, Massachusetts: Shape Up Somerville. Preventing Chronic Disease, 6(3), A102.
  3. Fitzpatrick, M., Chapman, G., & Barr, S. (1997). Lower-fat menu items in restaurants satisfy customers. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(5), 510–514.
  4. Patterson P.M., Acharya R.N., Schmitz T.G., Foerster, S.B., Hill, E., Jones, A., & Bohm, E. (2002). Analysis of the effects of a healthy dining campaign on sales of healthy menu items. Proceedings from American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting. Long Beach, CA. http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/19892/1/sp02pa04.pdf. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  5. Richard L., O’Loughlin, J.O, Masson, P., & Devost, S. (1999). Healthy menu intervention in restaurants in low-income neighborhoods: A field experience. Journal of Nutrition Education, 31(1): 54–59.

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