In the effort to fight childhood obesity, Michelle Obama has introduced another factor into her anti-obesity campaign, as described in an article in the Daily Telegraph by Nick Allen. This new “PG” rating system will be introduced into some restaurant menus in the United States.

Darden Fights Childhood Obesity

A group of restaurant chains owned by Darden will join the fight against childhood obesity by promoting healthier meals for children.

Darden Restaurants, which owns several nationwide chains, will require children to have parental permission when they order fries with a meal. Instead, the standard side dish option will become vegetables or fruit and low-fat milk to promote weight loss or maintenance of a healthy weight. The restaurants also plan to reduce calories and sodium in meals for children by a fifth over the next decade.

Darden’s Restaurants – Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze – will each offer at least one children’s meal option of less than 600 calories for a healthy lifestyle.

Darden owns 1,900 restaurants in 49 states and is the latest U.S. restaurant operator to provide healthier meal options to their consumers, following moves by McDonald’s and Burger King to offer fruit.

“This is a breakthrough movement in the restaurant industry,” said Michelle Obama at an Olive Garden restaurant in Maryland. “I believe the changes Darden will make will impact the health and wellbeing of an entire generation. What’s good for kids and families can also be good for business. We want parents to feel confident that enjoying a meal at a restaurant doesn’t mean sacrificing their children’s health.”

One in three U.S. children suffers from childhood obesity or being an overweight child. This PG rating program is another success for Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign, which began in February of last year.

What are your thoughts on this new restaurant program? Do you feel that this will make decisions easier for the parent? Will this help to fight childhood obesity?