A research analysed 14 years of menus from familiar fast food U.S. chains, only to find that the nutritional quality of menu items has improved only slightly over last 14 years. The menus from 1997-1998 to 2009-2010 came from McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Arby's, Jack in the Box and Dairy Queen.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Healthy Eating Index was used to evaluate the nutritional quality of the menu items. The score for restaurants increased modestly, from 45 to 48, during the 14-year period. Menu scores did not change for fruit, whole fruit, total vegetables, dark green and orange vegetables, legumes, total grains, whole grains, and oils. Fortunately, the scores for meat, saturated fat and calories from solid fats and added sugars bettered. The score suggesting nutritional quality of milk/dairy and sodium is worse.
It is disappointing to find out that nutritional quality hasn’t improved much, given the many pronouncements by fast food companies that they have added healthier menu options and switched to healthier cooking.
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