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Domino's Pizza and Other Healthy Dining Options

Gary Lee

Just as travelers have begun craving locally grown and organic meal options, along comes HealthyDiningFinder.com, a Web site designed to help folks locate restaurants with menu items that are low in calories, trans fats and all other horrible things, and high in fiber and other stuff that's nutritional. The site, launched in March, lists 50,000 dining locations across the U.S. Folks on the road can punch in a zip code or name of a city and the healthy choice restaurant options appear.

When I checked out the healthy lunch possibilities within 10 miles of my downtown Washington, D.C., office, Domino's Pizza, Burger King and Arby's were among the listings. While the vanilla milk shakes and fries at Burger King and Domino's pepperoni 12-incher may do the trick for a hearty appetite, I confess I have never thought of them as particularly beneficial for my belly or cholesterol count.

So I rang up Erica Bohm, a spokesperson for California-based Healthy Dining Finder, to ask: What gives here?

Any restaurant can sign up, she said. The restaurant must serve several items that meet certain health-oriented criteria, she added. Dishes must contain either lean proteins, fruits or vegetables or whole grains. Entrees should not exceed 750 calories, 25 grams of fat and 8 grams of saturated fat, she continued. Lower levels are required for appetizers.

The Web site lists the healthy choice options available at the restaurants listed. Burger King lists the Tendergrill chicken garden salad at 300 calories, among other items. Domino's list is topped by two slices of thin crust pizza with two or three veggies toppings at 280 calories.

To join, the restaurants pay a fee, which, according to Bohm, is used to pay for the costs of keeping up the Web site. "It's mostly chains listed at the moment," she added. "But in the future we expect that more individual restaurants will join."

Thoughts?

By Gary Lee |  August 27, 2007; 1:06 PM ET  | Category:  Dining , Gary Lee
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Oh lord. As a health reporter, this sounds exactly like the ridiculous pitches I would get sometimes from people who wanted me to write about their website for finding a doctor or dentist...and then you find out it only includes doctors or dentists who paid to be included. Which means it is...worthless.

Posted by: h3 | August 27, 2007 1:25 PM

I concur.
For those who are tracking their intake for reasons of maintaining health, or to avoid allergines, this type of web-site is pretty useless. Can't imagine many local, non-chains would use it either.
Funding with ads might be a better way, but having scanned the site when it first came out, it really is pretty worthless.

Posted by: me | August 27, 2007 1:45 PM

Although this sounds like a potentially nice service to have, the business model of this web site needs a little rework. A couple of thoughts here - big chains are the one who typically post nutritional information on their web sites because they've gone through the exercise of having a lab calculate those nutritional values. I wouldn't expect a local restaurant to be able to just pull that information from thin air. Second, the big chains are the ones that have the big marketing budgets to support this kind of business. How would a local restaurant justify the expenditure unless it thought this could definitely generate new business? Finally, this isn't really that novel of a service for consumers. Other web sites already compile lists of healthy restaurant choices, although they likely don't offer nutritional data.

Posted by: Brian | August 29, 2007 1:29 PM

Checking near my NYC office brought stellar healthy choices like Hooters, Dominos and Burger King in the top six.

Posted by: Dave | August 29, 2007 1:47 PM

viroc4t

Posted by: racchid | November 17, 2007 1:12 AM

varbocsi

Posted by: delletoge | November 17, 2007 12:59 PM

cavichiace

Posted by: bocmond | December 28, 2007 5:49 PM

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