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Study Finds Unhealthy Kid Food at Chains

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WASHINGTON, Feb 24, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Children's menus at some U.S. sit-down restaurant chains feature unhealthy foods, the Center for Science in the Public Interest said Tuesday.

"Parents today can't make informed choices on feeding their children well. The problem is that labeling in restaurants is non-existent," Margo Wootan, CSPI's director of nutrition policy, said in Washington.

CSPI surveyed 20 of the United States' largest table-service restaurant chains and contracted an independent laboratory to analyze the nutritional content of kids' food at seven chains: Applebee's, Chili's, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster.

CSPI found the worse offender of kids' menu food was Outback Steakhouse, whose kids' version of a cheeseburger, fries, soda, and sundae totaled 1,700 calories and 58 grams of saturated fat.

The study's release coincided with Sen. Tom Harkin's, D-Iowa, introduction of legislation Tuesday requiring nutritional information to be displayed on chain restaurant menus and vending machines.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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