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The Public Health Implications of Fast-Food Menu Labeling

  • Barry M. Popkin
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Barry M. Popkin, PhD, W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 123 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill NC 27516-3997
    Affiliations
    School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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      Excessive fast-food intake and the entire fast-food industry have been the source of strong criticism for pricing policies that enhance the purchases of large portion sizes; promotion of unhealthful foods high in sodium, saturated fats, and calories and depleted of many important minerals and vitamins; and seductive marketing that brings young children into fast-food–dependent diets at an early age.
      • Jeffery R.W.
      • French S.A.
      Epidemic obesity in the United States: are fast foods and television viewing contributing?.
      • Prentice A.M.
      • Jebb S.
      Fast foods, energy density and obesity: a possible mechanistic link.
      • Spurlock M.
      Don't eat this book: fast food and the supersizing of America.
      • Stender S.
      • Dyerberg J.
      • Astrup A.
      Fast food: unfriendly and unhealthy.
      • Brownell K.D.
      • Horgen K.B.
      Food fight: the inside story of the food industry, America's obesity crisis, and what we can do about it.
      • Young L.R.
      • Nestle M.
      Expanding portion sizes in the U.S. marketplace: implications for nutrition counseling.
      • Hill J.O.
      • Peters J.C.
      Environmental contributions to the obesity epidemic.
      Indeed, cultural anthropologists studying the impact of McDonald's introduction into Asia note the profound effects of fast-food company practices and policies on the entire culture of eating.
      • Watson J.L.
      Golden arches east: McDonald's in East Asia.
      The word fast food is viewed with such disdain in some articles and websites that objective analysis of the fast-food sector, its dynamics, and its roles in the diet of Americans and nations across the world is difficult.
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