YOUR good health is OUR true mission


Healthier Kiddie Fare

Posted on 07/19/2011

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced last week the formation of "Kids EatWell," a voluntary program for restaurants to improve the healthiness of children's restaurant meals.

The food group said 19 chain restaurants will participate, including Au Bon Pain, Chili's, Pollo Loco, Outback Steakhouse and Sizzler. The largest fast food hamburger chain, McDonalds, is not among the participating restaurants. Are we really surprised the ones who want your kids (and you) to be "super sized" are not participating? I'm not.

This finally comes after consumer advocates pressured for years to make restaurants understand children's meals need a reduction in calories, fat and sodium. Adults do too, by the way, but this is just about the kids.

Frankly, the need has never been greater with nearly 1 in 3 children either obese or overweight (that totals 23 million kids). And, most kids today do not eat out as a treat for a special occasion rather eat out often, some daily or multiple times daily. This fact needs to be taken into consideration -- very strong consideration if you ask me.

I applaud the NRA's efforts albeit a little too late...and a little too little. But, it is a step in the right direction, like I always say. So, I guess it is a positive thing, even if it was basically demanded by consumers for years to no avail.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer watchdog group that advocates healthier food, this effort is a good baby step, but they believe much more work is needed.

I say, keep the pressure on the industry and who knows what will change? All it takes is one person to start it. Why not you? The power of one is strong...very strong.

Speaking of changes, the Federal Trade Commission recently took a stand against aggressive marketing to children by issuing guidelines to limit the products companies can sell to our kids...essentially it would prevent companies from marketing unhealthy goods to children through a variety of media. I say, "Way to go!"

However, many food marketing special interest groups and lobbyists have promised to fight these voluntary principles. So, what's a concerned citizen to do? You can't outspend themthey spend billions of dollars a year marketing unhealthy products to our kids. The food industry alone spent $4.2 billion in 2009; in 2008, Coca Cola Company spent $752 million; PepsiCo spent $1.3 billion...and that is just two companies marketing budgets!

Go to preventobesity.net and search "FTC".there you can tell the FTC to implement the principals. You can also connect with officials about other obesity-related issues needing support to implement.

The power of one is strong...very strong.


Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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