Public Health Seminar Series:

Informing interventions targeting dining out behavior in families: a multi-pronged and systems-oriented approach by Megan Mueller, Ph.D.

Monday, April 1, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm Calit2 Auditorium OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

In recent years, as parents have become more time-constrained, and American families acquire much more of their food away from home, the health of our next generation depends on having more nutritious food offerings in restaurants. Yet there is limited understanding of the factors that can encourage restaurants to offer healthier items and how parents and children respond to healthy menu changes. During this presentation, I will review evidence around changes in the healthfulness of menu orders in children and adults after the implementation of a healthier children’s menu in a regional restaurant chain. I will also discuss research examining trends in the availability of healthier sides and beverages on children’s restaurant menus, and will review preliminary evaluations of associations between co-occurring external nutrition policy efforts, company commitments to health, and the healthfulness of menu offerings. Given that initial evidence indicates that many parents and children know what they want to order before they even step into the restaurant, I will also talk about some preliminary evidence to inform interventions that reach families before they go out to eat. How these separate research questions may have interacting influences on healthy eating in families in the context of restaurant meals will also be explored.

Speaker Biography - Megan Mueller, Ph.D.

Megan Mueller, Ph.D.
Megan Mueller, Ph.D. Department of Community Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA
Dr. Megan Mueller is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her research is focused on obesity prevention in children, parents, and young adults, with an emphasis on restaurants and the food environment. Megan received her PhD in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and her MPH in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Policy from the University of Minnesota.

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