Food offered by meal delivery services deemed unhealthful
A cross-sectional comparison of meal delivery options in three international cities reveals that most food types available for delivery are not considered healthy. The study also shows the vast options of individuals at home through a meal delivery service.
“The recent upsurge in online food delivery options has reshaped the food market,” according to the authors, who sought to examine between-city differences and within-city socioeconomic differences in the number of online meal delivery options, meal types, and meal prices.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in three international cities within high-income countries. The authors sampled meal delivery options provided by a major international meal delivery company across 10 addresses in Chicago (US), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Melbourne (Australia).
Between-city and within-city socioeconomic differences in price levels were assessed by conducting Bonferroni-adjusted Chi2-tests.
Overall, 1,668 delivery options in Chicago, 1,496 in Amsterdam, and 1,159 in Melbourne across 10 sampled addresses in each city were included in the analysis. A total of 10,220 keywords, representing 148 different meal types, were recorded across all 4,323 delivery options.
Burgers, pizza, and Italian food were included in the top 10 most advertised meals in all three cities. Healthy and meat-free meals were less frequently advertised in Chicago and Melbourne as compared with Amsterdam.
The number of delivery options for addresses in the most disadvantaged and least disadvantaged neighbourhoods were comparable in Chicago. On the other hand, more delivery options were available for addresses in the least disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Amsterdam and Melbourne.