Archive for Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Fast food chains urged to promote healthier food

October 16, 2002

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— Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson told representatives of the fast-food industry Tuesday that they should offer and aggressively advertise more fruits and vegetables, re-examine their "supersize" portions and generally offer more healthful food.

"I want more choices and healthier choices on their menus, and advertising campaigns to eat healthy," Thompson said after the meeting. "We are too fat and don't exercise, and I invited them to be part of the solution."

Concerned about the increasing number of Americans who are overweight and obese, Thompson said the meeting was one of many he will have with industries and groups involved with food, nutrition and physical exercise.

Thompson said that he raised the issue of large, supersize portions in particular and that the restaurant industry defended its serving sizes. Steven Anderson of the National Restaurant Assn., which represents restaurants of all styles, said its surveys have found that 70 percent of Americans believe restaurant portions are the right size. But both sides said they were looking for ways to work together.

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