Another stellar study from this month's Health Affairs, this time illustrating how kid's meal offerings greatly influence what's ordered. And lucky for us DC-area colleagues, the research took place at the Silver Diner, a regional chain with restaurants in both Rockville and Arlington, among other locations.
This study builds on previous research where the authors found healthier food choices on the heels of the implementation of a more nutritious kid's menu at the Silver Diner. Now the researchers assessed whether this trend continued both one and two years later. What they found was what anyone who chose to make these changes would hope to find - sustained behavior change!
Some of the major findings:
The number healthy kids’ entrée orders increased from 3.1 percent before the menu changed to 44.6 percent one year later; it was 43 percent when assessed after two years.
Healthy kid's side orders went from 38.4 percent before the change to 76.1 percent after one year and 74.8 percent after two.
French fry orders declined to 25.3 percent after one year and 24.1 percent after two. This is down from 57 percent before the kids' meal changes.
Last, the amount of soda ordered dropped to 25.3 percent a year after the switch and 24.1 percent two years later. It was 34.7 percent prior to the switch.
Other restaurants should take note and follow suit. And if there was any concern about how it would affect their business, the chain’s annual revenue grew 5.3 percent in 2014.