Missouri Live Well
Eating out in Missouri just got healthier! Many local restaurants now provide healthy menu items as part of the Missouri Live Well Restaurant program developed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Consumers are spending more of their food dollars in restaurants, including fast food establishments, and DHSS is providing tools to help them make healthier choices.
What is Live Well?
The program was first conceived and developed by the Polk County Live Well Alliance to promote healthy living among the citizens of Polk County. Restaurants that choose to be part of the Missouri Live Well Restaurant program help consumers easily identify and select healthy options when eating away from home. Live Well menu items are lower in fat, calories and sodium. The program uses science-based nutrition criteria to identify Live Well items and Live Well Restaurants must serve at least 2 healthy menu options that meet specific nutrition criteria.
Why Live Well?
- Children and families eat out more than ever. Meals prepared outside of the home have become a major source of food for kids and adults, accounting for 35 percent of total daily calories for kids.
- Healthy options are difficult to find in most restaurants. A study of the top 50 chain restaurants in the United States found that 97 percent of all possible children’s meal combinations do not meet expert nutrition standards for children’s meals.
- Consumers have trouble estimating the number of calories in restaurant meals . One study found that nine out of ten people underestimate the number of calories in unhealthy menu items by an average of 600 calories.
Interested in helping restaurants in your area become a Live Well Restaurant? Check out our Partner Resource page.