Collaboration between local hospital and community development organization helps restaurants highlight healthy menu options for customers
Jackson Heights, NY- The 82nd Street Partnership and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst are partnering with local restaurants in the Elmhurst and Jackson Heights and surrounding communities for a new initiative called Get Fit. The Get Fit campaign will focus on helping neighborhood diners make healthy choices when eating out without having to give up the global cuisine and comfort foods they love. The program is free for local restaurants and is expected to bring positive exposure to the area’s diverse food scene.
"NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is proud to work with the 82nd Street Partnership and local restaurants to promote healthier eating habits in our community through the Get Fit program," says Israel Rocha, Jr., chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and vice president of OneCity Health. "Many of the chronic illnesses we treat, such as heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, can be linked to diet, so we see this partnership as an opportunity to raise awareness about the selection of healthy menu choices when dining out."
Certified dieticians from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s Department of Food and Nutrition will review menus of participating restaurants to identify healthy food options. Dieticians will take into consideration calorie, fat, sugar, and sodium content, as well as whether items are grilled or fried and whether food is covered in high-calorie gravies or sauces.
During the coming months, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst dieticians will review restaurant recipes and offer suggestions for ways chefs can modify menu items to reduce fat, calories, sugar, and sodium. Modified items will be added to the official Get Fit Menu, which will be available on the 82nd Street Partnership website, at participating restaurants, and at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and other participating health centers in the community. Restaurants that sign on and their dietician-approved items will be identified by a Get Fit Menu sticker, which will be displayed in windows and on menus.
“Jackson Heights has such diverse and delicious dining options,” says Leslie A. Ramos, Executive Director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “Our goal with the Get Fit Menu is to show that healthy eating doesn’t mean foregoing favorites or restaurants we love! We hope that by highlighting healthy choices we can make eating right an easy option.”
“Helping patients understand the link between their food choices and their health can result in the best management of, or even avoidance of, chronic disease,” said Jey Hwang, RD, CDN, director of Food and Nutrition at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. “We hope that making it easier for people to make healthy choices when they are out for an enjoyable meal with friends or family will be part of a new healthier norm in Queens.”
“We have always strived to provide healthier options on our menu, so we are happy that now there is a program that will help us connect to community members seeking healthy foods. This program will be great for the community,” says Juan Carlos Segarra, owner of El Pequeño Restaurante.
Participating restaurants include: Delicias Colombianas, El Pequeño Restaurante, Casa Rivera, M 2 N Cafeteria, Just Made 4 U, La Pequeña Colombia, Juquila Mexican Cuisine, and Cositas Ricas, Chiflez, Sabor Ecuatoriano Bakery, Seba Seba, Sompong Thai, La Boina Roja Steak House, VC Restaurant, Isa’s Restaurant, Pico de Gallo, Delhi Heights, and Mustang Thakali Kitchen.
For information about dietary and nutrition services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, call 718 334-4000.
About the 82nd Street Partnership
The 82nd Street Partnership is a non-profit neighborhood development company that supports the local business community by providing sanitation, beautification, marketing, and advocacy services. Our mission is to enhance the shopping environment along 82nd Street, one of New York City's most vibrant, authentic, and diverse neighborhoods.
About NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst
NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is a major provider of hospital and ambulatory care services in the borough of Queens. The 545-bed hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center, an Emergency Heart Care Station, and a 911-Receiving Hospital. It is a premiere health care organization for key specialties, including surgery, cardiology, women’s health, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, renal services, and mental health services. Last year, the hospital’s robust primary and specialty care practices handled nearly 700,000 ambulatory care visits and its emergency medicine teams responded to more than 130,000 emergency room encounters.