Savvy Diner: Don’t you want to know what’s in your lunch?

If you like dining out, but also living healthily, wouldn’t you like to know about the sodium and calorie levels in your restaurant food?

After all, with the average restaurant meal containing 1.5 times the recommended daily dose of sodium, regular restaurant diners could be greatly increasing their risk of developing hypertension.

A new initiative out of Toronto aims to help diners make smart decisions—and encourage restaurants to put their nutritional information on the table.

The city’s Public Health office has launched a campaign called Savvy Diner. The campaign raises awareness about sodium and calorie content in restaurant food, as well as encouraging a movement towards restaurant menu labelling.

Starting in early 2014, a group of restaurants will participate in a voluntary menu labelling experiment. Meanwhile, Toronto Public Health is lobbying the Ontario government to make menu labelling a requirement for large restaurant chains.

With a regularly updated blog, interactive options, a quiz and helpful information, the Savvy Diner site is a useful resource even if you live outside of Toronto. The site also takes pains not to come across as preachy or to discourage eaters from the fun side of dining.

“We believe in moderation: eating healthy most of the time, with the occasional indulgence. The thing is, many of us indulge more often than we realize,” explains one blog post. “Whatever the case, menu labelling is about your right to know and make informed decisions.”

 

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