Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO of The California Endowment, released the following statement regarding today's announcement by Darden Restaurants to commit to reduce its menu's overall caloric footprint and improve the nutritional content of its children’s menu.
“I commend Darden Restaurants for committing to reduce its caloric footprint and improve the nutritional content of its children’s menu. Together with First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America, Darden has recognized the importance of preventing childhood obesity and promoting children’s health. At the California Endowment, we believe that “Health Happens Here” — in our neighborhoods and schools where access to the healthy choice shapes the health of our state. Health happens at restaurants like Darden's too,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross.
“Once the changes announced today are fully implemented, customers at the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Stakehouse should have an easier time choosing a healthy meal. Federal menu labeling standards, which are partly based on California’s first-in-the-nation menu labeling law, give consumers even more information they can use to select healthy options. These are positive and important steps. I encourage Darden's and other chain restaurants to continue to find ways to improve the nutritional content of the choices they offer customers. Water or low-fat milk should be the default beverage for all children’s meals. Healthfully prepared fruits and vegetables should always be included, and menu designers should look for every opportunity to cut unhealthy fats, sodium, and excess calories. Restaurants can help make our communities healthier, and they should.”
Posted By: Ashley Nicole 9/29/2011