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J Assoc Consum Res. 2016 Jan;1(1):92-103. doi: 10.1086/684364. Epub 2016 Jan 1.

Using Healthy Defaults in Walt Disney World Restaurants to Improve Nutritional Choices.

Author information

1
Professor, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, 12348 E. Montview Blvd., Mailbox C263, Aurora, CO 80045.
2
Professional research assistant, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, 12348 E. Montview Blvd., Mailbox C263, Aurora, CO 80045.
3
Associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, 13001 E. 17th Place, B119, Aurora, CO 80045.
4
Assistant professor, Department of Outcomes and Policy, University of Florida, 1329 SW 16th Street, Gainseville, FL 32608.
5
Associate clinical professor, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Louis and Dora Rousso Building, 1165 Morris Park Ave., Room 438, Bronx, NY 10461.

Abstract

A retrospective study of kids' meals purchased at Walt Disney World was conducted to determine acceptance rates for healthy sides and beverages. Purchase data from all 145 Walt Disney World restaurants were analyzed using a log-linear model and a Poisson regression. Across all restaurants, 47.9% and 66.3% of guests accepted healthy default sides and beverages, respectively. Acceptance rates of sides and beverages were higher at quick-service restaurants (49.4% and 67.8%, respectively) compared to table-service restaurants (40.3% and 45.6%, respectively). The healthy defaults reduced calories (21.4%), fat (43.9%), and sodium (43.4%) for kids' meal sides and beverages. This study contributes by examining the use of kids' meal healthy defaults in quick-service and table-service restaurant formats at the world's largest theme park, a previously unstudied setting, and by providing the largest ever healthy default data set. The results suggest that healthy defaults can shift food and beverage selection patterns toward healthier options.

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