Healthy Restaurants Partnership Announced
Posted by Melissa Simon on Sep 17, 2013 - 2:34:21 PM
LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the first-ever healthy restaurants partnership on September 12, which identifies restaurants that serve smaller portion sizes and healthier children’s meals.
Choose Health LA Restaurants, the name of the program, is part of the Health Department’s “ongoing, comprehensive efforts to curb the obesity epidemic by educating and empowering LA County residents,” according to the release.
“Almost two-thirds of LA County residents are overweight or obese, yet fundamental changes in diet can be difficult,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Public Health Director and Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “As we continue to educate residents about the benefits of eating smaller portions and cutting back on sugar-loaded drinks, it’s important that we make those healthier choices as accessible as possible. Choose Health LA Restaurants promote healthier meal choices and, thus, healthier adults and children across LA County,” he added.
Photo credit: Choose Health LA Restaurants
Restaurants participating in the program will be identified by a decal in the window as well as other in-store promotional materials, according to the release.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called the program a win-win for both restaurant owners and customers.
“Choose Health LA Restaurants empowers county residents to make tasty, but healthy choices when they dine out,” he said. “And as we get the message out about the importance of portion size and calorie intake, we’re confident that demand for these healthier sized meals will only go up,” he added.
To qualify for the program, businesses must offer the following, according to the release:
· Smaller portion sizes in addition to the current menu
· Healthier children’s meals including fruits and veggies, healthy beverages and non-fried food
· Free chilled water
The program comes at a time when the average American eats out four times a week and a recent survey of LA County residents showed that 85 percent were in support of the reduced portion sizes, according to the release. Kim Belshé, executive director for First 5 LA, said nearly 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 9 eat fast food on any given day.
“First 5 LA is a proud partner of the Choose Health LA Restaurants program because it provides parents more opportunities to make healthy choices for their children,” Belshe said. “This program allows families to dine out together and still feed children the nutritious foods they need to grow up healthy and strong,” she added.
Some restaurants that have been qualified for the program include the following: Poquito Más, Subway, Roman's Pizza, My Fit Foods, Lido di Manhattan Ristorante, Locali Conscious Convenience, Localita & The Badasserie and Deano's Gourmet Pizza. There are also more applications pending.
For more information on Choose Health LA Restaurants or for an interactive map of participating locations, visit www.choosehealthla.com.