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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Dec;24(12):2497-2508. doi: 10.1002/oby.21684.

Reducing calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium in restaurant menu items: Effects on consumer acceptance.

Author information

1
Department of Research, Accents on Health, Inc. (dba Healthy Dining), San Diego, California, USA.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, California, USA.
3
Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
4
Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Derby, Connecticut, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess consumer acceptance of reductions of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium to current restaurant recipes.

METHODS:

Twenty-four menu items, from six restaurant chains, were slightly modified and moderately modified by reducing targeted ingredients. Restaurant customers (n = 1,838) were recruited for a taste test and were blinded to the recipe version as well as the purpose of the study. Overall consumer acceptance was measured using a 9-point hedonic (like/dislike) scale, likelihood to purchase scale, Just-About-Right (JAR) 5-point scale, penalty analysis, and alienation analysis.

RESULTS:

Overall, modified recipes of 19 menu items were scored similar to (or better than) their respective current versions. Eleven menu items were found to be acceptable in the slightly modified recipe version, and eight menu items were found to be acceptable in the moderately modified recipe version. Acceptable ingredient modifications resulted in a reduction of up to 26% in calories and a reduction of up to 31% in sodium per serving.

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of restaurant menu items with small reductions of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium were acceptable. Given the frequency of eating foods away from home, these reductions could be effective in creating dietary improvements for restaurant diners.

PMID:
27891828
PMCID:
PMC5127442
DOI:
10.1002/oby.21684
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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