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National Restaurant Association - NRA takes healthy-living message to state and local officials

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NRA takes healthy-living message to state and local officials

National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney served on a panel Dec. 6 with the mayors of Oklahoma City, Okla., Somerville, Mass., and Baton Rouge, La., to talk about state and local initiatives to reduce obesity -- and how restaurants are contributing to the effort.

"We are really trying to do our part in helping Americans lead healthier lives," Sweeney told the audience, which included local leaders, health officials and others attending GOVERNING Magazine's first Summit on Healthy Living.

Sweeney talked at length about the National Restaurant Association's new Kids LiveWell initiative, to help highlight healthier choices on kids' menus. Sixty restaurant brands and nearly 22,000 restaurant locations are now participants in Kids LiveWell.

Mayors on the panel praised what restaurants are doing. In Oklahoma City, where 46,000 residents took a weight-loss pledge and are expected to hit the 1-million-pounds-lost mark around the first of the year, Mayor Mick Cornett praised Taco Bell for its collaboration with the city to promote lower-calorie portions.

In a separate event, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed 800+ attendees at the Nov. 30 meeting of the Partnership for a Healthier America, held in DC, and also singled out restaurants for their efforts. In listing ways that various industries are helping in the fight for a healthier nation, the First Lady noted that "restaurants are revamping kids’ menus and loading them with healthier, fresher options."  

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