Kim Brodie, a health specialist at the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Phoenix-Raleigh has created guidelines for making healthier choices when eating at fast food restaurants. For example, Brodie recommends ordering whole wheat or whole grain bread instead of white bread and ordering plain mustard in place of mayonnaise, ketchup, or barbecue sauce. Learning from this, we can begin to explore how to meet people where they are to help them progress toward healthier eating.
Burger King Corp. pledged to transition its U.S. supply chain to 100% cage-free eggs by 2017 and to only purchase pork from suppliers who demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs. Gestation crates are used in intensive pig farming to confine a female breeding pig during pregnancy; pigs are unable to turn around and the crates can be detrimental to animal welfare.
Consumers are asking more questions about their food and where it comes from. In response, grocery stores are trying to meet consumer demand for more information and have changed the way they present food to their customers. Even McDonald’s is starting a ‘Meet our Suppliers’ campaign. Yet, price still remains a powerful factor in food choice.
Taco Bell announced that it will join its competitors, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway, by adding a breakfast menu at nearly 800 restaurants across 10 Western states. Breakfast accounted for 60 percent of the restaurant industry’s growth over the last five years, according to a 2010 report from NPD Group.
A study published in the Journal for Population Health Management declares the middle class the biggest consumer of fast food. This runs contrary to a popular belief that cash strapped Americans eat the most fast food. According to the study, members of households earning $60,000 a year are most likely to be found consuming this typically unhealthy food.
"Kids LiveWell" is an initiative to support healthier kids meals at 10 restaurant chains representing more than 15,000 locations in the US. The National Restaurant Association in collaboration with Healthy Dining will offer and promote nutritional menu choices based on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines as well as leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations. Some initial participants include Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Au Bon Pain, T-Bones Great American Eatery, and zpizza.
The Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group released this report which measures the distance from every Chicago city block to the nearest grocery store and fast-food restaurant and compares food access and residents’ available food choices with health outcomes, while looking at race, income and education. This website link also has reports on Birmingham, Alabama; Savannah, Georgia; Boston Massachusetts; and Detroit, Michigan.
PolicyLink, in collaboration with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, look at the connections between retail food environments, obesity, diabetes and community income.