Development of the Menu Assessment Scoring Tool (MAST) to assess the nutritional quality of food service menus
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award / Healthway Exploratory Grant (#32981)
ARC Number : DE210101791
Preventing the rise in obesity is a global public health priority. Neighbourhood environments can help or undermine people’s efforts to manage their weight, depending on availability of nutritious and nutrient-poor ‘discretionary’ foods. The proportion of household food budgets spent on eating outside the home is increasing. To inform nutrition policy at a local level, an objective assessment of the nutritional quality of foods and beverages on food service menus that is context-specific is needed. This study describes the development and piloting of the Menu Assessment Scoring Tool (MAST), used to assess the nutritional quality of food service menus in Australia. The MAST is a desk-based tool designed to objectively assess availability of nutrient-poor and absence of nutritious food and beverages on food service menus. A risk assessment approach was applied, using the best available evidence in an iterative way. MAST scores for 30 food service outlets in one Local Government Authority in Perth, Western Australia highlight opportunities for improvements. MAST is the first tool of its kind in Australia to assess the nutritional quality of food service menus. It was practical and feasible to use by public health nutritionists/dietitians and can be adapted to suit other settings or countries.
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Pulker, C. E., Aberle, L. M., Butcher, L. M., Whitton, C., Law, K. K., Large, A. L., ... & Trapp, G. S. (2023).Development of the Menu Assessment Scoring Tool (MAST) to assess the nutritional quality of food service menus. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(5), Article 3998. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053998