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Saturday, July 16, 2011

NRA Takes the Lead with Health Impact

A commitment to sustainability is also a commitment to evolving with its expanding focus. When sustainability first became a common term it's main focus was environmental stewardship.  Next the corporate community realized the importance of sustainable action making good business sense; hence, economic vitality entered the focus. 

In the past several years social responsibility was introduced as an integral component to sustainability.  An abundance of recent articles touting social responsibility as  vital to successful corporate programs validates social responsibility as the third sustainability focus.

Health impact is emerging as the fourth sustainability focus. 

With its announcement this week of the National Restaurant Association's "Kids LiveWell" Initiative in collaboration with Healthy Dining, the NRA is taking the lead in showcasing the importance of the foodservice industry's health impact, especially relating to children.  “Kids LiveWell” is a first-of-its-kind voluntary initiative that shows the restaurant industry’s commitment to offering healthful menu items for children, with a focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium. 

More than 15,000 restaurant locations across the nation participated in the program launch this week.  To learn about the menu requirements for program designation, read the NRA July 13, 2011 "Kids LiveWell" press release.  The USA Today article, 15,000 restaurants order healthy new kids meals, gives numerous examples of the healthy menus options available at a variety of restaurants.

Dawn Sweeney
“‘Kids LiveWell’ is another example of the National Restaurant Association’s work taking a proactive role in helping the industry deal with issues related to health and nutrition,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  “We look forward to “Kids LiveWell’s” growth and success in enhancing the health of our nation’s children and future generations.” 

Healthy menu options are an excellent entry into the foodservice industry's health impact.  The NRA , in partnership with the Zero Waste Zones, plans to quantify the health impact of zero waste initiatives as part of the NRA Conserve's metric collection tool. 

With the health impact journey is in its infancy, stay tuned for powerful tales from the adventures ahead.

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