Perhaps not surprisingly, a study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that parents choose meals with fewer calories for their children when calories are posted on the menus.
The study found the meals parents chose when given calorie information had about 20 percent fewer calories than those chosen when parents were not presented with calorie information on the menu.
Lack of information is where the personal responsibility argument usually breaks down. Once parents make the decision to go to a fast-food chain, it's hard to expect them to know the difference between one type of kids meal and another. But those little differences can add up to a big change over time, not to mention the benefits from just making parents more aware of the calories food actually contains. If parents start to see how high in calories the lowest available options actually are, then maybe they'll start checking out some new places to take their kids to lunch.
-- Monica Potts