Hospitaliano is about to get a whole lot healthier.
Darden Restaurants, the world's largest full-service restaurant company and the parent organization behind popular chain eateries including Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, announced today that it is committing to reduce the calorie count and salt content of its food and provide more nutritious options on its children’s menus.
According to a press release from Darden Restaurants, specific changes include promises to reduce sodium in its offerings by ten percent over the next five years and 20 percent over the next ten years, establishing specific nutrition standards to guide the development of its children’s meals by offering more choices, and making fruits or vegetables the default side dish option and an 8-ounce serving of 1 percent milk the default beverage with free refills.
In addition, Darden has pledged to work toward a ten percent reduction of calories over five years and a 20 percent reduction of calories over ten years by "reformulating, resizing and removing certain items, and introducing new calorie-conscious, flavorful choices," per the press release.
Representatives for Darden Restaurants say that the company joined forces with the Partnership for a Healthier America - the nonprofit organization that works with the First Lady on her “Let’s Move!” initiative - to develop the nutritional benchmarks and will continue to do so as the effort progresses.
Mrs. Obama previously announced collaborations with major food retailers across the country in an effort to stamp out food deserts and addressed to National Restaurant Association to express concerns over the high calorie content of their menu offerings.
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