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National Restaurant Association - NRA’s Sweeney honored for efforts to end child obesity

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NRA’s Sweeney honored for efforts to end child obesity

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, was honored Dec. 6 by the Campaign to End Obesity for her leadership in helping to inspire and guide nutrition initiatives of the U.S. foodservice industry.

Sweeney received the award during a gala held at Discovery Channel Worldwide headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.

Stephanie Silverman, a senior advisor to the nonprofit organization, which offers policy solutions that help end childhood obesity in the United States, said Sweeney was recognized for leading National Restaurant Association efforts to establish a healthy-living platform that allows restaurant operators to contribute to a more healthful America.

"Dawn has been an enthusiastic and engaged leader in the fight to reverse America's obesity epidemic," Silverman said. "We applaud her work in encouraging and supporting restaurants' innovative efforts to provide nutritious options for their customers."

One of the initiatives launched by the NRA to promote healthful offerings in restaurants is the Kids Live Well program, a first-of-its kind, voluntary, industry-wide program that helps parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. Participating restaurants commit to offer and promote meals for children that focus on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, while limiting unhealthful fats, sugars and sodium. The items meet strict nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations' scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.

The program, which was established in collaboration with nutrition consultant Healthy Dining, debuted in July 2011. Since its inception, Kids Live Well has grown to include national, regional and local restaurant brands representing more than 30,000 locations nationwide.

Sweeney, a longtime advocate for children, also is a charter member of Child Obesity 180, a unique multi-sector initiative of private, public, nonprofit and academic leaders, who have made a commitment to helping prevent childhood obesity through evidence-based initiatives. Additionally, the NRA chief serves on the board of Save the Children.

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