Impact of fast food meals on nutrient intake of two groups.

Coleen Greecher, B. Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Two groups in different population centers were studied to determine how often consumers frequented fast food restaurants, and consequently, how heavily they relied on this type of food for nutrients. A questionnaire was answered by 280 customers of two fast food restaurants of the same chain. They were asked how often they patronized fast food restaurants, their specific food choices, and other pertinent questions. Food choices were evaluated for energy and seven nutrients on the basis of published analyses of the menu items of the particular fast food chain. Fifty-two per cent of the subjects in the two groups considered their purchases to be meals. Seventy-seven per cent of these consumed one-third or more of the recommended dietary allowance for protein, but no more than 30 per cent received that amount of the other nutrients examined, including food energy. Calcium and particularly vitamin A were least often consumed in amounts equal to one-third of the recommended allowances. Consumer choices were responsible for low consumption of calcium, but no good sources of vitamin A were included on the menus. Fast food items were purchased so infrequently by the majority of our respondents that nutrient composition of the fast food meals or snacks would be of concern in only a small number of cases. This study indicates that any attempts to improve nutritive value of fast food snacks or meals must include efforts to lead consumers to make wiser food choices, as well as encourage the fast food industry to provide rich sources of all the nutrients in their menus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-372
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1977

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Medicine(all)


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