The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has launched a healthy restaurants partnership, identifying restaurants that offer smaller portion sizes and healthier children's meals.

According to a press release, this partnership is the first of its kind in the country.

Choose Health LA Restaurants will promote menu changes that encourage healthier choices and allow restaurants to "distinguish themselves by responding to consumer desires for smaller portions of their favorite foods." The program will also focus on healthier meals for children.

The program is part of Public Health's "Choose Health" initiatives to curb high obesity rates.

"Almost two-thirds of LA County residents are overweight or obese. Yet fundamental changes in diet can be difficult. Offering both regular and smaller portions at restaurants makes a healthy choice an easier choice," said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, public health director and Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "As we continue to educate residents about the benefits of eating smaller portions and cutting back on sugar-loaded drinks, it's important that we make those healthier choices as accessible as possible. Choose Health LA Restaurants promote healthier meal choices and, thus, healthier adults and children across LA County."

To be designated a Choose Health LA Restaurant, businesses must offer:

  • Smaller portion size options (in addition to existing menu items);
  • Healthier children's meals that include fruits and vegetables, healthy beverages and non-fried foods; and
  • Chilled water, free of charge.

Participating restaurants will be identified by a Choose Health LA Restaurant decal in the window and other in-store promotional materials. Customers can also find nearby Choose Health LA Restaurants at ChooseHealthLA.com.

Restaurants that have already qualified for the program include Poquito Más (10 locations), Subway (640 locations), Roman's Pizza, My Fit Foods, Lido di Manhattan Ristorante, Locali Conscious Convenience, Localita & The Badasserie and Deano's Gourmet Pizza, with additional applications pending.

Business owners interested in joining Choose Health LA Restaurants can download an application and additional information at ChooseHealthLA.com. Program employees are available to provide personalized assistance.

Read more about health and nutrition.

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