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Restaurants and Caterers Invited to Learn More about Posting Calorie Counts on Menus

Monday September 12, 2011

The Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will sponsor a forum for locally owned restaurants and caterers interested in posting calorie counts on their menus on Monday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. It will be in the Centennial Room of the Louisville Free Public Library at 301 York St. The event is free and open to the public.

The forum will explain the benefits of the Louisville Healthy Hometown Restaurant menu labeling initiative and how local restaurants can sign up. The forum will also educate restaurant owners and the public on federal menu labeling requirements that will go into effect next year for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations.

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 for the Healthy Hometown Restaurant initiative 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 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,” said Public Health and Wellness Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.

“It’s an important component of our strategy to reverse obesity trends and to help make the healthy choice the easy choice here in Louisville.”

To date 36 Louisville restaurants at multiple locations have signed up for the voluntary menu labeling initiative. Seven of these have signed up since just last week when Mayor Fischer made an announcement about the program. Any restaurant in Louisville with fewer than 20 locations may take advantage of the financial help and free technical assistance.

Anyone planning to attend the September 19 Forum is asked to RSVP to ann.badger@louisvilleky.gov or call 574-6690.

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