Parents Choose Healthier Options For Kids, Not For Themselves
By Nadja Popovich
Think calorie counts on fast-food menus are useless?
Nutritional labeling gives parents an extra tool to make good decisions when they’re eating out, if only for their kids.( Justin Sullivan/Getty)Maybe not. Well, at least, not if your mother is dictating what you eat.
In a new study, out in yesterday’s Pediatrics medical journal, parents were given sample McDonald’s menus with and without nutritional information and asked to choose a hypothetical meal for their kids. All in all, parents who were given data on calories chose lower-calorie meals for their children — about 100 calories lower on average, or a 20 percent reduction.
But parents’ good-intentions for their kids’ health doesn’t seem to carry over to their own eating habits. As it turned out, there was no difference in calories between the meals that the two groups of parents chose for themselves.
Dr. Pooja Tandon, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, led the project. She tells Shots that while her research doesn’t answer why the calorie counts in the parent groups remained about the same, previous studies have come up with similar results. Still, while some studies support