Healthy menu items are seemingly easier to ﬁnd at restaurants than they were ten years ago, but are people actually eating these dishes? To ﬁnd out, researchers analyzed the nutritional content of fast-food and full-service restaurant dishes eaten by 35,015 adults between 2003 and 2016. Although the overall diet quality remained poor for both fast-food and full-service restaurant meals eaten by the participants, there are a few promising signs of progress. Notably, whole grains eaten at restaurants increased from 0.22 to 0.49 servings per day in full-service restaurants, and 0.08 to 0.31 servings in fast food restaurants. There were also slight increases in nut/seed/legume intake at fast food restaurants, as well as slight decreases in soda consumption at full-service restaurants and saturated fat and sodium consumption at fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, over this time period, people also at fewer fruits and vegetables at both types of restaurants, and the nutritional disparities between diﬀerent racial and ethnic demographic groups persisted and, in some cases, worsened.
Journal of Nutrition. 2020 Jan 29. pii: nxz299. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz299. [Epub ahead of print] (Liu J et al.)