January 11, 2007

According to restaurant owner you can't stop people from killing themselves

The Boston Globe reports that according to some restaurant owners the only way they can sell food is in large portions. The city of Boston launched a new program -- Boston BestBites -- to promote restaurants that have at least one appropriately portioned entreƩ. Amazingly, most restaurants won't sign up.

It's easy to see why with this restaurant owner's attitude:

"We're known for big portions, our incredible meatloaf and our super breakfast -- that's our thing; that's what's made us popular," said Jay Hajj, who owns Victoria's Diner, which is participating in the program, and Mike's City Diner, which is not.

Hajj doesn't talk about how inappropriate portions are killing Bostonians.

Officials cite figures showing that 51 percent of Bostonians were overweight or obese in 2003, which is better than the 66 percent of overweight adults nationwide.

But the rate is higher among Boston's minority and poor residents. About 64 percent of blacks and 63 percent of Latinos in Boston are overweight, compared with 43 percent of whites, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. City officials say the program is intended to raise awareness before obesity becomes an epidemic in parts of the city.

The Globe reports, "so far, about a dozen restaurants have signed up for the program, many of them locally run, neighborhood haunts that traffic in greasy French fries, bacon cheeseburgers, and cheesy omelets. Owners say they are wary of losing their base, and they emphasize they'll continue to offer the popular less healthy options. But they insist that now they'll provide more options for the health-conscious. "

And for those who want to live.

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