Most kids' menus at top restaurant chains unhealthy

August 7, 2008

The majority of menu options for kids at 13 top chain restaurants are too high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, according to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The majority of menu options for kids at 13 top chain restaurants are too high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, according to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The report found that 93% of 1,474 possible menu choices had over 430 calories, which is one third of the daily recommended amount of calories that the Institute of Medicine recommends for children between the ages of 4 and 8.

Nearly every possible combination of dishes on the kid's menus at chain restaurants KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A was too high in calories. Ninety-three percent of the kids' meals at McDonald's and Wendy's have more than the recommended 430 calories, the report stated, as do 92% at Burger King, 89% at Dairy Queen, 69% at Arby's and 60% at Denny's, which do not include beverages in their children's menus.

In addition, researchers found that 45% of kids' meals also had too much saturated and trans fats, and 86% had too much sodium.