Using Healthy Defaults in Walt Disney World Restaurants to Improve Nutritional Choices
Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2015 Last revised: 29 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 21, 2015
A retrospective study of kid’s meals purchased at Walt Disney World was conducted to determine acceptance rates for healthy sides and beverages. Purchase data from all 145 Walt Disney World restaurants were analyzed using a log linear model and a Poisson regression. Across all restaurants, 47.9% and 66.3% of guests accepted healthy default sides and beverages, respectively. Acceptance rates of sides and beverages were higher at quick-service restaurants (49.4% and 67.8%, respectively) compared to table-service restaurants (40.3% and 45.6%, respectively). The healthy defaults reduced calories (21.4%), fat (43.9%) and sodium (43.4%) for kid’s meal sides and beverages. This study contributes by examining the use of kid’s meal healthy defaults in quick-service and table-service restaurant formats at the world’s largest theme park, a previously unstudied setting, and by providing the largest ever healthy default dataset. The results suggest that healthy defaults can shift food and beverage selection patterns toward healthier options.
Keywords: kid's meals, defaults, nutrition, restaurants, theme park
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