School of Medical and Health Sciences / Institute for Nutrition Research
Australian Research Council / East Metropolitan Health Service, Western Australian Department of Health
ARC Number : DE210101791
Australian families increasingly rely on eating foods from outside the home, which in-creases intake of energy‐dense nutrient‐poor foods. ‘Kids’ Menus’ are designed to appeal to families and typically lack healthy options. However, the nutritional quality of Kids’ Menus from cafes and full‐service restaurants (as opposed to fast‐food outlets) has not been investigated in Australia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutritional quality of Kids’ Menus in restaurants and cafés in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. All 787 cafes and restaurants located within the East Metropolitan Health Service area were contacted and 33% had a separate Kids’ Menu. The validated Kids’ Menu Healthy Score (KIMEHS) was used to assess the nutritional quality of the Kids’ Menus. Almost all Kids’ Menus (99%) were rated ‘unhealthy’ using KIMEHS. The mean KIMEHS score for all restaurants and cafés was −8.5 (range −14.5 to +3.5) which was lower (i.e., more unhealthy) than the mean KIMEHS score for the top 10 most frequented chain fast‐food outlets (mean −3.5, range −6.5 to +3). The findings highlight the need for additional supports to make improvements in the nutritional quality of Kids’ Menus. Local Government Public Health Plans provide an opportunity for policy interventions, using locally relevant tools to guide decision making.
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Exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and other interventions for optimal health across the lifespan