Posted Saturday, May 12, 2012 --- 9:30 a.m.
UNDATED (AP) — An independent nonprofit group is on a mission to make dining out healthier.
The U.S. Healthful Food Council says restaurants have disincentives to offer a healthy menu. According to USHFC President Lawrence Williams, "The least expensive and the most profitable foods tend to be not the most healthful foods."
So his organization is launching an initiative to help restaurants offer healthier food at a reasonable cost, and then boost their business by driving more customers to them.
It'll offer restaurants assistance with nutritional analysis and menu labeling, as well as recipe reformulation.
The council plans to implement a "bronze, silver, gold" rating system to help consumers find the most healthful restaurants. The ratings will be based on criteria such as whether the menus include organic foods, offer multiple portion sizes and provide information about nutritional value and ingredients that might concern patrons with food allergies.
Williams says the main goal "is to have more transparency," so ultimately consumers can "look for that brand for a certified restaurant."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.