by Marion Nestle
Aug 5 2008

CSPI’s new study on kids’ menus

Center for Science in the Public Interest has a new study out on the nutrient composition of kids’ meals in fast food restaurants. Of course they are all (OK, just 93%) too high in calories. Of course the default option includes sodas (Subway is the sole exception).  If calories were on menu boards, would parents think twice about ordering these things?  Might be worth a try, given that the average child under 18, or so reports USA Today, eats 167 meals a year in restaurants.

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  • tmana

    Given the caloric content… the “dieter’s special tactic” of ordering the kid’s meal will often give the dieter too many calories at the time!

  • Ivan Road

    Thank you Marion! for at least suggesting we have NO IDEA if this sort of thing will work or not.

    It is a grand and noble and worthy experiment, but nothing more.

    And for CSPI, instead of sniping from the sidelines, it might be very instructive to have CSPI design a kid’s menu for MacDonalds or KFC.

    Let them create the dishes, the pricing, and the promotions, and see what happens. They apparently know what is right and proper. Let them do it.

    Go ahead, come up with a dish that kids like, mothers like, fits CSPI’s guidelines, and PEOPLE WILL BUY. Make it no fat, no sugar, pure whatever. Make it tofu and amaranth or whatever.

    Go ahead.

    I’m sure the chains would be HAPPY to have a politically correct menu in place that people would buy.

    Please, CSPI, YOU design and market a kids menu that people will actually buy. Please do it. It is way too easy to sit off to the side and take pot shots.

    YOU design a kids meal that people will buy.

  • Michelle

    My friends with kids all complain about one thing in particular: every single kids meal, even at many sit-down restaurants, comes with fries. Even if you can choose a relatively healthy main course, a giant side of fries comes out with it.

    Even just offering the choice of fruit/side salad/veggies instead of fries would make a lot of parents happy–and be a step in the right direction.