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Mom And Pop Carryout Stores Can Profit From A Healthier Menu

July 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
People living in low-income neighborhoods tend to spend a larger portion of their food dollars at carryouts and fast food outlets, which are not known for healthy menus. But now a three-phase test program conducted in Baltimore, Md., has found that small carryout shops can profitably offer a wider variety of healthy foods. The program not only improved eating habits in low-income, African-American communities, it increased revenues in mom and pop stores by as much as 25 percent. The program involved use of the word “fresh” instead of “healthy” on redesigned menus, and introduction and promotion of healthier side dishes and entrees (e.g., grilled as opposed to fried chicken). Analysis of store receipts showed that revenue from healthy items in participating stores increased by 62 percent.
Seung Hee Lee-Kwan et al., "Environmental Intervention in Carryout Restaurants Increases Sales of Healthy Menu Items in a Low-Income Urban Setting. ", American Journal of Health Promotion, July 22, 2015, © American Journal of Health Promotion
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