Inaugural Live Well Restaurants Celebrated by Health Department

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department today designated the first group of eating establishments as Live Well Restaurants. The announcement, made by Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker, took place this morning at the very first restaurant to make a commitment to the Live Well Allegheny campaign – Bridges Restaurant & Lounge, located in the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, 100 Lytton Avenue in Oakland.

“We’re thrilled to see a campaign that’s just two years old have so much energy and impetus,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We started with stakeholders, partners and Live Well Communities, but the Live Well Allegheny umbrella also includes schools, restaurants and so many other organizations and groups who are committed, with us, to improving the health of our county. Kudos to these restaurants which are taking a step out and joining us in this effort.”

To be designated as a Live Well Restaurant, the business must first indicate its intent to work along with Allegheny County to accomplish the goals of the Live Well Allegheny campaign. At a minimum, restaurants must commit to eliminating trans-fat oils, being smoke free and not selling tobacco products. They must also commit to at least four action steps as detailed on the Live Well Allegheny web site – www.livewellallegheny.com. Some examples include providing low calorie salad dressing, nutritional and calorie information as well as offering healthy alternatives as side dishes.

“We are very excited to announce the first of what we hope will be many Live Well Restaurants. Our goal is to make healthy options available and visible to the consumer,” said Dr. Hacker. “It is our hope that this designation will help our residents make healthier nutritional choices when eating out and choosing where to eat.”

Bridges Restaurant & Lounge is committed to launching a new menu that highlights healthier options and provides nutritional information. The restaurant will also be updating the children’s menu to adhere to the Kids Live Well criteria established by the National Restaurant Association. Additionally, healthy side dish options, low fat and fat free salad dressings, half sized portions on select sandwiches and all salads and healthy beverage options will be offered.

“As soon as we learned of the Live Well Allegheny campaign, there was no question that it was the perfect fit for Bridges Restaurant & Lounge,” said Coleman Hughes, general manager of Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, where the restaurant is housed. “Guests are eager to make healthy choices, and we want to make that as easy as possible for them – not only is it a good business decision, but it’s also an active way for us to support the Allegheny County community.”

Four additional locations have met the qualifications and therefore received status as a Live Well Restaurant: The Food and Nutrition Departments of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, UPMC Passavant, UPMC Mercy and UPMC St. Margaret. All have made a commitment to Live Well Allegheny as part of their Dining Smart Guidelines that promote healthier options in different menu categories and provide nutritional information.

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

Participants in the Live Well Allegheny campaign work collectively with the Health Department’s staff. While monetary resources are not part of the initiative, participating restaurants can receive materials, information and collateral items to promote the campaign and their individual efforts to “live well.” For more information on the Live Well Allegheny campaign, including how to become a Live Well Restaurant, visit www.livewellallegheny.com.

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