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

See all articles by John Peters

John Peters

University of Colorado

Jimikaye Beck

Colorado State University

Jan Lande

University of Colorado

Zhaoxing Pan

University of Colorado

Michelle Cardel

University of Florida

Keith Ayoob

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

James Hill

University of Colorado at Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus

Date Written: December 21, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Peters, John and Beck, Jimikaye and Lande, Jan and Pan, Zhaoxing and Cardel, Michelle and Ayoob, Keith and Hill, James, Using Healthy Defaults in Walt Disney World Restaurants to Improve Nutritional Choices (December 21, 2015). Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706855

John Peters (Contact Author)

University of Colorado ( email )

1, L15-1503 12631 E. 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
United States

Jimikaye Beck

Colorado State University ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States

Jan Lande

University of Colorado ( email )

1, L15-1503 12631 E. 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
United States

Zhaoxing Pan

University of Colorado ( email )

1, L15-1503 12631 E. 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
United States

Michelle Cardel

University of Florida ( email )

Keith Ayoob

Albert Einstein College of Medicine ( email )

Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
United States

James Hill

University of Colorado at Denver - Anschutz Medical Campus ( email )

1, L15-1503 12631 E. 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
United States

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