Food Science & Nutrition Research

Abstract

Traffic Light System Approach to Identifying Healthy Choices in RetailDining Facilities at a Historically Black University

Heather L Colleran, Alexis Sharkey, Roberta Claro da Silva, Tiffany Fuller.

Application of a simple menu labelling system may appeal to decision-making skills of college students, thereby improving their food choices and thus promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to analyse menus on a Historically Black University campus to create a handout of healthy menu options for students. Nutritional information from the six retail-dining facilities were colored coded based on a percentage of energy from total fat (green <30%; amber 30-40%; red <40%). Results showed less than 25% of menu items were green, primarily condiments, resulting in increasing the criteria to <35% kcal total fat for purposes of the handout. The application of a simplified traffic light system to analyse the menus from the six-retail dining facilities demonstrated that students have less variety and choices when it comes to the selection of healthful menu items.
The handout will be used for future studies.

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