First Lady Michelle Obama recently urged restaurants to offer healthier fare to help reduce “obesity-related conditions” in the United States. Speaking before the National Restaurant Association on September 13, 2010, Obama said “that while restaurants are offering more options and families take advantage of them more often, they aren’t always the healthiest choices.”  

Asserting that Americans spend half of their food dollars for meals outside the home, she reportedly called on restaurants to use “creativity to rethink the food you offer, especially dishes aimed at young people.” She suggested substituting wheat pasta for white pasta, cutting the amount of butter or cream, serving 1 percent or skim milk, and offering healthy side dishes like apple slices or carrots as the “default” menu choice.  

Obama also urged restaurants to actively promote healthy foods to children. “It’s not enough just to limit ads for foods that aren’t healthy,” she said. “It’s also going to be critical to increase marketing for foods that are healthy.”