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National Restaurant Association - NRA applauds MyPlate guide

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NRA applauds MyPlate guide

The National Restaurant Association commends the federal government’s new MyPlate food icon to guide Americans in making healthful food choices.

“The National Restaurant Association applauds the work to create an icon that gives consumers a clearer idea of how to think of their everyday meal options," said Scott DeFife, the NRA's executive vice president of policy and government affairs. “Much like the upcoming national menu-labeling standard, the new food icon will be a useful resource to help inform all Americans’ food choices.”

DeFife represented the National Restaurant Association Thursday at USDA where First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled MyPlate.

DeFife noted that the restaurant industry would continue to help create an environment that addresses healthy living challenges. The National Restaurant Association is working on several fronts to address such challenges. They include:

•  “Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids,” a national initiative to improve the health of children and young people through food education, culinary strategy and flavor insight. The NRA's partnership with with the Culinary Institute of America included a May summit where participants discussed the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and how to motivate consumers to choose healthful options.

•   The Let’s Move campaign’s Chefs Move to School programs and other initiatives to improve childhood health and nutrition.

•   The Association is a participating member of the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, which surveyed parents to help provide positive and simple messages to enable consumers to achieve active, healthy lifestyles consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

•  The Association helps consumers locate healthful menu options through its partnership with HealthyDiningFinder.com, a nationwide search engine that provides nutrition information to consumers throughout the country.

•  The Association works with the Produce Marketing Association and the International Foodservice Distributors Association on the Foodservice 2020 Initiative, an effort to double the amount of produce used in foodservice within 10 years.

According to the Association's 2010 Household Survey, nearly three-quarters of adults say they try to eat healthier when dining out than they did two years ago. Restaurant operators confirm that trend, with a majority saying their customers order more healthful menu items than they did two years ago.

Furthermore, the Association’s 2011 “What's Hot” chef survey showed that two-thirds of U.S. quickservice operators offer more healthful choices for children than they did two years ago. In the fullservice segment, about half of family-dining operators in the United States said they offered more healthful choices for children than they did two years ago.

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