Large chain restaurants remove higher-calorie menu items

Some large chain restaurants have changed their menus in recent years to include healthier, lower calorie options, but until now, researchers had not examined the calorie content of the removed menu items. A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues finds that the removed items are significantly higher in calories than items that remain on the menu.

The study was published online December 11, 2017 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Last year the authors, led by Sara Bleich, professor of public health policy at Harvard Chan School, reviewed data from the MenuStat project (2012–2015), which includes 66 of the 100 largest U.S. chain restaurants.

“Items dropped from chain restaurant menus are significantly higher in calories than items that remain on the menu,” the authors concluded. “Eliminating higher-calorie items from restaurant menus may have a significant and positive impact on population health by reducing calorie intake without relying on individual behavior, which is very resistant to change.”

Read the study: Higher-Calorie Menu Items Eliminated in Large Chain Restaurants

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