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LA County Health Dept Says Too Many Families Are Eating Outside the Home

It's not a condemnation of restaurants, just a hard look at child obesity rates.

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Cafe Gratitude, Arts District
Cafe Gratitude, Arts District
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is worried that too many families may be eating out at restaurants these days, which could lead to a whole host of issues as time goes on. To help curb the phenomenon (or at least make families smarter about what they're eating), the county is hoping to educate families regarding healthier dining choices for their children, while simultaneously promoting healthier eating at all restaurant levels, from fast food to sit-down spots.

L.A. County is among the worst offenders for childhood obesity in the nation

In a new campaign, the department is trying to curb some statistics that they find particularly troubling; namely, that L.A. County is among the worst offenders for childhood obesity in the nation, and that families are beginning to spend more money on restaurant and takeout food than actual groceries for the home.

The county has long partnered with restaurants as part of their ongoing Choose Health LA initiative, but want to focus now on informing families with young children about making small changes to their dining-out diets, like not ordering sodas and staying away from fried foods. It's certainly something that others like Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson have been considering for a long time, though in general the city seems to have a long way to go — especially when healthy-eating spots like Native Foods Cafe keep shuttering left and right.

Below are some tips from the department for making healthier choices when dining out with small children.

Family-friendly options