Nutritional quality of children's menus in restaurants: does cuisine type matter?

Gina S. A. Trapp, Natasha Reid, Siobhan Hickling, Alexia Bivoltsis, Joelie Mandzufas, Justine Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective:It is unknown whether the nutritional quality of children's menus varies depending on the cuisine type. This study aimed to investigate differences in the nutritional quality of children's menus by cuisine type in restaurants located in Perth, Western Australia (WA). Design:Cross-sectional study Setting:Perth, WA. Participants:Children's menus (n 139) from the five most prevalent restaurant cuisine types in Perth (i.e. Chinese, Modern Australian, Italian, Indian and Japanese) were assessed using the Children's Menu Assessment Tool (CMAT; range -5-21 with lower scores denoting lower nutritional quality) and the Food Traffic Light system, evaluated against Healthy Options WA Food and Nutrition Policy recommendations. Non-parametric ANOVA was used to test for a significant difference in total CMAT scores among cuisine types. Results:Total CMAT scores were low for all cuisine types (range -2-5), with a significant difference between cuisine types (Kruskal-Wallis H = 58 center dot 8, P < 0 center dot 001). The highest total CMAT score by cuisine type was Modern Australian (mean = 2 center dot 27, sd = 1 center dot 41) followed by Italian (mean = 2 center dot 02, sd = 1 center dot 02), Japanese (mean = 1 center dot 80, sd = 2 center dot 39), Indian (mean = 0 center dot 30, sd = 0 center dot 97) and Chinese (mean = 0 center dot 07, sd = 0 center dot 83). When using the Food Traffic Light for assessment, Japanese cuisine had the highest percentage of green food items (44 %), followed by Italian (42 %), Modern Australian (38 %), Indian (17 %) and Chinese (14 %). Conclusions:Overall, the nutritional quality of children's menus was poor regardless of cuisine type. However, children's menus from Japanese, Italian and Modern Australian restaurants scored better in terms of nutritional quality than children's menus from Chinese and Indian restaurants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1368980023000344
Pages (from-to)1451-1455
Number of pages5
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number7
Early online date20 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023


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