The National Restaurant Association today welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to its Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

“We are honored to partner with the First Lady’s work to reduce childhood obesity in a generation,” said President and CEO Dawn Sweeney of the National Restaurant Association. “We appreciate this opportunity to share our own progress, as an industry, in the area of health and nutrition with the First Lady.”

“The National Restaurant Association works closely with the ‘Let’s Move’ initiative,” said Sweeney. “From the beginning our top school lunch providers pledged to double the amount of produce they provide to the 31 million school lunches served every day. As a partner in the ‘Chefs Move to Schools’ program, the National Restaurant Association has been pairing chefs with schools to help develop menus that include healthier options, and educate parents and kids on nutrition and healthy eating.”

The National Restaurant Association is working to help create an environment that encourages voluntary, flexible options for restaurateurs to address today’s healthy living challenges — a holistic approach that encompasses a multitude of solutions.

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 report offering more healthful choices for children than they did two years ago.

“It is clear that more American consumers are demanding healthy options,” said Sweeney. “The restaurant industry is responding to consumers’ preferences by providing options for their tastes and dietary needs. Offering more menu choices, cooking with healthier ingredients, and providing nutrition information for guests are just a few of the ways restaurants are answering consumers’ interest in more healthful food options.”
 
Comprehensive nutrition data for consumers in chain restaurants makes every part of the country more consistent and in a uniform format. The Association worked in conjunction with several of its chain members for more than two years with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, industry leaders and consumer groups to come to this historic agreement establishing the national menu labeling standard, which had support from more than 77 health organizations.

To help consumers more easily access nutrition information, the National Restaurant Association is a founding partner of Healthy Dining Finder, a simple-to-use search engine where consumers can locate nutrition information from their favorite restaurants. More than 70,000 restaurant locations have joined the program. The Association is also working 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 ten years.