Monday, September 19, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1762, September 19th, 2011



First Lady Michelle Obama joined Darden Restaurants and Partnership for a Healthier America today to announce a “breakthrough” health and wellness commitment in the restaurant industry. Darden, whose brands include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, is the world’s largest full service restaurant company and owns and operates 1,900 restaurants in 49 states, serving over 400 million meals per year.
Darden is committing to reduce its calorie and sodium footprints, and to provide greater choice and variety to families through changes to its kids’ menus. Across the entire Darden portfolio of brands, the company is working toward a 10 percent reduction of calories and sodium over five years and a 20 percent reduction in calories and sodium over 10 years. On kids’ menus, fruits or vegetables will become the default side option and 1-percent milk will be the default beverage choice with free refills. Changes to the kids’ menus are starting now and will be fully implemented by next July.
“I’m here today because this is a breakthrough moment in the restaurant industry,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Darden is doing what no restaurant company has done before - they’re not just making their kids menus healthier so that parents have more choices and more control, they’re committing to make changes across the full menu at every single one of their restaurants. Darden is working to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and they’re making it the delicious and fun choice too. I’m confident that if companies like Darden continue to be creative and innovative and keep our kids’ best interests at heart then we will solve the challenge of childhood obesity and give all our kids the healthy futures they deserve”
One of every two dollars spent on food is spent in restaurants, and over one-third of calories consumed in America are eaten at restaurants. The Childhood Obesity Task Force Report specifically calls on restaurants to, “consider their portion sizes, improve children’s menus, and make healthy options the default choice whenever possible.” Last September, the First Lady spoke to the National Restaurant Association, encouraging restaurants to rethink what they serve to kids and families. Since then, there has been positive movement in the industry with commitments from various restaurant leaders to provide healthier menu options.
Partnership for a Healthier America secured the following commitments and will be working with Darden to evaluate and monitor their progress with these efforts.
Kids’ Menus – changes starting now and to be fully implemented by July 2012
•Guarantee a fruit or vegetable will be the default side for every kids’ menu item at those restaurants offering a default side on the children’s menu: Bahama Breeze, LongHorn Steakhouse and Red Lobster.
•1% milk will be the default beverage, provided automatically if no alternate beverage is requested. Milk will be prominently promoted on the menu and made available with free refills.
•Food illustrations on the menu will promote the healthy choices for meals and drinks.
•Healthier menu options will be more prominently displayed when possible.
•Carbonated beverages will not be displayed on children’s menus.
•Improve the nutritional content of one or more children’s menu items to provide equal or less than 600 calories, 30% of total calories from fat, 10% of total calories from saturated fat and 600 mg of sodium.
Calories/Sodium Footprint Reduction – changes to be implemented by 2016 and 2021
•By 2016, reduce calories by 10% and over a ten-year period by 20%
•By 2016, reduce sodium by 10% and over a ten-year period by 20%.
When I read about Mrs. Obama's efforts, I sought out Dr. Joe Leonardi. Leonardi did an incredible transformation job on his own body weight a few years ago. He has a website which chronicled his own weight loss journey. He is also the author of the book, Fat Then Thin Now, A Life Beyond Weight Loss. I wanted to get his thoughts on the plan since he has been a guest on nutrition, weight loss and childhood obesity on various TV and radio programs recently. Here are his thoughts:
I have often applauded and continue to do so, First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to not only increase the awareness of childhood obesity, but to actually attempt do something about the problem. Once again, for her efforts she gets my kudos and respect.
This latest collaboration with a restaurant chain is good P.R. to raise awareness, but will in the long run, really do nothing about the problem of childhood obesity. The simple fact is that if you know how to make the right food choices you can eat out at any of the mentioned restaurants without these changes. And simply because the default will be what they consider a healthy side, will not curb the unhealthy consumer food choice. We live in a "have it your way," eating society, so it will not deter anyone from changing the side to french fries.
Also,once again, Mrs. Obama is spouting the highly inaccurate calories in/calories out theory about controlling any type of obesity This falsehood is the same misinformation that has been used in the new guidelines put out by the government. However, her heart remains int the right place and even if some of the information is incorrect, her high profile position keeps the issue in the public eye.
Overall, I continue to support Mrs. Obama, we are on the same team in trying to defeat the modern epidemic of childhood obesity. Perhaps one day she will take me up on my offer to join her team and influence real change.
Joseph F. Leonardi, Author of the book, Fat Then Fit Now; A Life Beyond Weight Loss


At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I missed something. The good doctor says he applauds the First Lady and her efforts but in the long run it won't accomplish anything. Then I guess she should just stop wasting her time and the good doctor should stay off TV and radio and stop writing books. What's the use? According to him it won't man anything in the long run.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Students, In discussing the latest liberal fad of fighting obesity we must understand that, as all liberal created mountains be, we are merely viewing a molehill.
IN short, the entire subject is being over rated.
SOmetimes when viewing television ( or the "idiot box" as I call it---you may laugh if you like) I see ads for pills, wacko exercise machines, and on and on that are designed to help you lose weight.
NOw, when we come to Mrs. Obama and her obesity program we tread new ground.
FOr the first time, students---for the first time the US Govt. is attempting to tell the populace how to behave as far as eating is concerned.
I will grant that Mrs. Obama may be sincere in her efforts, but why does she and her husband often dine on fast foods such as Burger King, Mcdonalds and Kentucky fried Chicken???
Hypocricy my friends, is akin to liberalism.
Do as I say, not as I do.
Many times in my lectures I have preached a moral lifestyle. Proper diet, a good outlook, no cigarettes, alcohol in moderation (preferably a good bottle of expensive wine followed by a Cuban cigar) will lead to a long and a healthy life.
And after all class, if it came in a book, or a bottle, everyone would have a perfect and fit body.
Something to think about this afternoon.
CLass Dismissed!!!!!!!

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you read, he said the efforts concerning the chains. Doc helped me drop 80 pounds in 7 months and I have kept it off for 2 years. I am guessing you are a fatass, heyna that hasn't any reading comprehension skills. His efforts are right on the money, unlike those who want others to change, he showed me how to change.

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long will we continue to allow any government rep tellmus what to do. Grow some nads people and learn to say no. Sheesh.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

I will grant that Mrs. Obama may be sincere in her efforts, but why does she and her husband often dine on fast foods such as Burger King, Mcdonalds and Kentucky fried Chicken???

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Joe Leonardi said...

Hi Dave,
Thank you for asking me to comment and publishing my response.


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