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Healthy Dining Program

READ MORE: Program aims to improve restaurants

Sixty percent of New Hanover County's population is obese and overweight, according to the North Carolina Center for Health Statistics.

Now our state is taking steps to change that problem.

Andrea Walker, Tiffany Ericksen and their two-year-olds are having lunch and a play date at the Bento Box in Wilmington.

Tiffany said, "I'm pretty picky about what my daughter eats. I won't let her eat at many restaurants, but I'll order off the menu here which is great, and of course for me I’d rather eat healthy."

Their favorite sushi spot has been named a healthy dining restaurant by the state of North Carolina.

Andrea Walker said, "It's definitely going to be a place where my son grows up eating and learns to eat healthy. It's good to know that you can go out to eat and you can be really healthy while you do that. That's really hard to do these days."

A fork and a star symbol at a restaurant means its part of the healthy dining program. Some of the meals have less than 1000 mg of sodium, less than 600 calories, and less than 30 percent fat.

The Bento Box is one of four restaurants in town currently involved in the Healthy Dining Winner's Circle Program. The menus of ten more restaurants are being analyzed.

Ericksen said, "The healthy eating symbol will make it a lot easier to know ahead of time where I want to dine out. I will know I’ll be able to order something healthy off the menu."

The Health Department hopes the new program will be one step in the right direction for obesity prevention.

Big Thai, Courthouse Cafe, and Sweet and Savory are also part of the Healthy Dining Program locally. For more information visit:

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