Addressing Childhood Obesity: New Opportunities in Health and Wellness within the Restaurant Industry

Session Track: Consumer Lifestyles & Demographics

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Session Description:

One out of every three children is overweight or obese. The restaurant industry, which serves 130 million meals a day, is poised to play a key role in addressing this issue. As mandated by the Affordable Care Act, restaurant chains with greater than 20 stores will begin displaying caloric information on standard menu items. Research conducted by the National Restaurant Association indicates that consumers are interested in healthier options. Information will be presented on steps being taken by the restaurant industry to comply with the federal menu labeling law, as well as how culinary, food science, and nutrition professionals may partner with the restaurant industry to meet the demand for healthier menu options. You'll learn how to identify marketplace opportunities within the food service industry that address the issue of childhood obesity.

Speaker Information:

Joy DubostJoy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., Director of Nutrition and Healthy Living, National Restaurant Association
Dr. Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian, is the Director of Nutrition and Healthy Living at the National Restaurant Association (NRA). In this position, she provides leadership and expertise on a wide spectrum of health and nutrition issues. She also serves as a spokesperson and representative for the NRA, effectively communicating the position of the restaurant industry on health related matters. Prior to joining the NRA, she was a principal nutritionist at PepsiCo. In her role in Strategic Nutrition Communications at PepsiCo, she developed nutrition communication programs and led outreach programs for health professionals. She also educated employees on nutrition by conducting company-wide seminars, authoring newsletters on various nutrition topics, and conducting podcasts. Dr. Dubost earned her doctorate degree in food science at the Pennsylvania State University, and is a media spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists.

Debe Nagy-Nero, M.S., R.D., Director of Quality Assurance, Nutrition & Safety, The Holland, Inc/Burgerville
Debe Nagy-NeroDebe Nagy-Nero is a registered dietitian and the director of Quality Assurance, Nutrition, and Safety for The Holland Inc./Burgerville restaurants. She is responsible for the quality and safety of all food that is served in the restaurants, as well as sourced from suppliers. She maintains the nutritional and ingredient databases, and educates corporate employees on food safety, sanitation, and nutrition. She is also responsible for the development and performance of restaurant audits. Prior to joining The Holland, Inc., she provided guidance to school lunch programs, senior feeding programs, and corporate foodservice programs. She has worked on a task force of the American Dietetic Association to develop a certification program and restaurant menu labeling, and is a member of the Washington Restaurant Association's Healthy Entrée Program planning committee. Ms. Nagy-Nero co-authored the American Dietetic Association's position paper on "Food and Water Safety."

Michael McGreal, C.E.C., C.C.E., C.H.E., F.M.P., C.H.A., M.C.F.E., Department Chair, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Michael McGrealManagement, Joliet Junior College
Michael J. McGreal has worked in the hospitality industry for 26 years, holding chef positions at some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the Chicago area. A graduate of Washburne Trade School, he earned his chef training degree from the University of Saint Francis. Chef McGreal now chairs the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Department at Joliet Junior College, where he has been an instructor since 1996. Mr. McGreal is the 2010 Central United States representative for the "Chefs Move to Schools," a task force that pairs chefs with schools in their communities to bring fun to fruits and vegetables, and teach kids about food, nutrition and cooking in an engaging way.