Wednesday September 7, 2011
Restaurants across Louisville are becoming Healthy Hometown restaurants by posting calorie counts on their menus. To date 29 restaurants at 46 locations throughout the city have signed up to take advantage of the voluntary menu labeling initiative.
Establishments who sign on to become Healthy Hometown restaurants get technical assistance from chefs and dietitians to analyze recipes as well as financial assistance to reprint menus and menu boards. In return the restaurants list the calorie count of each item next to the price on their menus and menu boards. Healthy Hometown restaurants also display the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended daily allowance for calories, fat and sodium and make other nutritional information available upon request.
Funds are provided from the $7.9 federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant that Louisville was awarded last year to further the work of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.
“The federal law will soon require menu labeling by national chain restaurants with 20 or more locations,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The Louisville Healthy Hometown Restaurant menu labeling initiative is aimed at helping our smaller local restaurants remain competitive while giving their customers the necessary information to make healthier choices when dining out.”
“The menu labeling initiative is an important component of our strategy to reverse obesity trends and to help make the healthy choice the easy choice here in Louisville,” said Metro Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. “Research tells us that families eat out an average of four times per week and adults and children consume about one-third of their calories from restaurants. Posting calorie information on restaurant menus helps to arm our citizens in the fight against obesity.”
“We give our customers much more nutrition information than they’ve ever had before by becoming a Healthy Hometown Restaurant,” said Dan Huckestein, owner and general manager of Yang Kee Noodle in the Oxmoor Center. “We believe our customers want as much information as possible before making their menu selections,” said Huckestein.
A national study released in July by the Trust for America’s Health of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sites the Louisville menu labeling initiative as one of the ways communities are fighting national trends in obesity.
Any restaurant in Louisville with fewer than 20 locations may take advantage of the financial help and free technical assistance. Restaurants wishing to participate should contact Patrick Rich at Patrick.Rich@louisvilleky.gov or at 574-6690.
The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness administers the $7.9 million CPPW grant which seeks to advance the work of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and make Louisville a healthier place to live for everyone by:
- encouraging environmental, systems and behavioral change designed to improve the ability to make healthier choices,
- assisting with developing policies, programs and communitywide tools needed to reach the entire community with healthier messages and healthier choice support systems,
- targeting entire communities including underserved areas where healthier choices may be severely limited.
To learn more about Louisville’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/Health/PuttingPreventiontoWork.