Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mehta, Sudha

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Restaurants--United States; Heart--Diseases--Nutritional aspects


The purpose of this study was to determine if the nutrient composition of noon meals prepared according to the American Heart Association guidelines for restaurants (heart-healthy meals) were significantly different in calories, cholesterol, total fat, saturated fat, sodium, polyunsaturated fat to saturated fat (P/S) ratio and percent of calories (kcal) from fat from the noon meal of the average American. The study compared mean values of 126 heart-healthy meals obtained from the American Heart Association Cookbook and four restaurants from the Chicagoland area to reported noon intakes of male and female participants between the ages of 18 to 74 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II, 1976-80). Noted nutritional composition of noon meals of participants were compared by sex and age catagories, and food sources. The heart-healthy meals contained significantly less calories, cholesterol, fat and sodium than contained in the meals consumed by male NHANES II participants no matter whether the meal was obtained from home, school, restaurant or other source. Female NHANES II participants consumed significantly less calories and cholesterol than contained in the heart-healthy meals but significantly more fat and sodium regardless of the food source. For males the caloric and cholesterol content of meals were associated with age. Younger men consumed more calories and cholesterol than older men. P/S ratio was significantly lower and percent of kcal from fat were significantly higher for the self-selected noon meal from NHANES II than heart-healthy meals for all groups compared. To reduce the risk of hypercholesterolemia, younger American males could reduce intake of total calories, cholesterol, fat and sodium by substituting a self-selected noon meal with a heart-healthy meal. If females from NHANES II substituted a heart-healthy meal for a self-selected noon meal they would increase calories and cholesterol but fat and sodium would be decreased. Overall the fat-related and sodium content of the heart-healthy meals were more conducive to reduce the risk of hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension. Therefore, heart-healthy meals served at some restaurants should be brought to the attention of the public.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [45]-50)


vi, 66 pages




Northern Illinois University

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