fast food fact report

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Appendix A
We used a variety of data sources and methods to provide a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. fast food market. Through publicly available data, we thoroughly document and evaluate the menus and marketing practices of the nation’s largest fast food restaurants. Whenever possible, we used the same methods as our 2010 report, “Fast
Food FACTS: Evaluation of the nutritional quality and marketing of fast food to youth,”1 to measure changes over time.
Our methods include analyzing the nutritional quality of restaurant menu items; analyzing purchased data on media exposure and spending from syndicated sources (i.e.,
Nielsen and comScore); conducting content analyses of advertisements on children’s TV; and evaluating marketing to youth on company websites, internet display advertising, social media, and mobile marketing. We supplement these analyses with information collected from company websites, monitoring of business and consumer press, and numerous visits to fast food restaurants and calls to their consumer helplines. These methods are described in detail in the following sections.
We did not have access to food industry proprietary documents, including privately commissioned market research, media and marketing plans, or other strategic documents. Therefore, we do not attempt to interpret fast food companies’ goals or objectives for their marketing practices. Rather, we provide transparent documentation of: 1) the nutritional quality of menu items offered by fast food restaurants; 2) the extent of children’s and adolescents’ exposure to common forms of fast food marketing, including exposure by black and Hispanic youth;
3) the specific products promoted and marketing messages conveyed in traditional and digital media; and 4) changes in nutrition and marketing that occurred from 2009 to 2013.

Scope of the analysis
To narrow down the list of restaurants to evaluate, we obtained
2012 sales data for the 50 largest fast

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