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The Prevalence of Heart-Healthy Menu Items in West Virginia Restaurants

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of heart-healthy choices offered in restaurants.

Methods: Menus (N=273) were obtained from restaurants in the 10 most populated cities in West Virginia. A survey assessed the number of restaurants that provide point-of- purchase nutrition information and the heart-healthy choices offered.

Results: One restaurant offered point-of-purchase nutrition information. Nine percent of restaurants identified heart-healthy choices on their menus. There was a high frequency of offering vegetarian entrees, light side dishes, and vegetables; however, much less fruit, low-fat milk, low-fat salad dressing, or heart-healthy desserts were on menus.

Conclusion: There is much opportunity for providing and identifying heart-healthy choices in restaurants.

Keywords: cardiovascular health; diet; health promotion; heart-healthy; restaurants

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 2: Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 3: WV Cardiovascular Health Program, WV Bureau for Public Health, Division of Health Promotion, Charleston, WV. 4: West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. 5: Human Nutrition and Foods, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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