The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) call for healthier restaurant menus did not fall on deaf ears. According to Mintel Menu Insights, menu items labeled as “healthy” increased 65% from 2009. DGAC also urged restaurants to pay more attention to kids’ menus, as “prevention for obesity in childhood is the single most powerful public health approach to combating America’s obesity epidemic.”
However, progress has been slow—there has only been a 10% increase in kids menu items containing fruits and vegetables between 2007 and 2010. Here are other findings from Mintel Menu Insights:
- Of restaurant-goers who say they eat healthier food when they dine out, more than half do so by incorporating more fruits and vegetables
- There has been a 12% increase in menu items that were labeled as vegetarian between 2007 and 2010.
- According to Eric Giandelone, “healthy menu development opportunity exists in providing vegetables and seafood-based appetizers, soups, salads and entrees. An added bonus in offering these ingredients is if prepared thoughtfully, they will cut down on the fat and calories of a menu item”