“First Ever HALO Awards Ceremony Reveals Huge Does of Healthy Inspiration”, Restaurant Nutrition: Healthy Dining, by Sara Luccero, 10/27/2014
Forward Thinking Restaurant Chains Honored at Inaugural HALO (Healthy Active Lifestyle) Awards Ceremony
Food News Media, publisher of QSR and FSR magazines, honored nine restaurant brands that are making exceptional strides in health and nutrition at the inaugural HALO (Healthy Active Lifestyle) Awards ceremony, held in Atlanta on October 14, 2014.
Greg Sanders, group publisher of Food News Media, stated that the awards initiative was two-fold: to give chain restaurants that have made health-related contributions the widespread recognition they deserve and to spur further health-related innovations among restaurant chains. Receiving over 120 entries, Sanders said, “It was great to see the passion exhibited not only by the restaurant chains when they accepted their awards, but also the enthusiasm of those in attendance.”
“We’re very encouraged by what the industry has accomplished thus far,” Sanders said, “and we can’t wait to see where we are in the next five years.”
The Awards were presented to restaurants exceling in healthy menu development, emphasizing those that have made great progress in reducing sodium, improving the nutritional content of their offerings and providing Healthy Dining and Kids LiveWell®-approved choices. Honorees were chosen by a panel of restaurant, nutrition, and public health experts, including David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, founder and president of Healthy Dining; Sam Oches, editor of QSR magazine; Connie Gentry, editor of FSR magazine; and Sanders.
“Restaurants are a key contributor to the typical American diet, and they can influence our overall nutrition for good or for ill with the dishes they serve. The HALO Awards recognize those leading the way toward innovations that put good food and good health on the same menu – and encourages others in the industry to take notice and take similar action. I congratulate the winners, and all those that participated this year, and I hope that even more will be in the mix next year!” said Katz.
Larkburger also received Honorable Mention HALO Awards. Larkburger, with 13 locations in Denver, makes a conscious effort to offer responsible portion sizes, offers soybeans as a side dish with burgers, and it committed to serving “truly gluten-free” choices to meet the needs of those with celiac disease rather than capitalizing on “the fad.” Larkburger has added two high nutrient salads including a toasted quinoa and a chopped kale with seared tuna.