Military Encourages Healthy Eating
- By Elizabeth Freed
- Feb 28, 2012
As part of the Pentagon’s dramatic new efforts to improve the diet and fitness of its troops and the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, the military’s choice for healthier alternative UFood Grill restaurants moved a step closer today to opening its first location on a military base.
UFood Restaurant Group Inc. – a growing “better-for-you” fast food chain with healthier menu offerings, has been approved by the Army/Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) and is well-positioned to support these initiatives. In January 2012, UFood announced they’d signed an agreement for global military base development of 26 UFood Grills with MBUF, LLC, a private investment group of military veterans. Three locations are now underway at the Aberdeen Proving Ground military base in Maryland, with the first of these three locations slated to open in March 2012.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson announced changes to the menus of 1,100 dining halls at military bases nationwide earlier this month. The move, which adjusts the Pentagon’s nutritional standards for the first time in 20 years, will bring more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and food choices that are lower in fat to 1.45 million troops a day at all 1,100 American military dining facilities in the coming months.
“Simply put, this is America's entire military once again stepping forward to lead by example," Mrs. Obama said about the Pentagon’s nutrition movement earlier this month. “A lack of fitness is not just a health issue, but a national security issue.”
“As we enter the military with our upcoming opening at Aberdeen Proving Ground, we will be at the forefront of healthier eating within the military," said UFood Chairman and CEO George Naddaff. “MBUF is comprised of a group of experienced veterans who understand that leading by example in the area of health and nutrition benefits the military and our country as a whole. We look forward to opening Aberdeen together as we map out further military base locations for UFood.”
“The military has had a great response to the UFood Grill concept,” said Francis L. Shea, managing partner, MBUF, LLC. “As a veteran myself, I know how important a balanced diet is to military fitness. By offering a healthy fast casual alternative to fast food, we believe that UFood will serve both the nutritional and the lifestyle needs of our military and their families, and their overall health.”
UFood Grill is committed to offering consumers food that tastes great, is lower in calories and fat. Wherever possible, they serve meals that are antibiotic- and hormone-free, gluten-free as well as natural, and include grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs in their menu items. UFood boasts a wide-ranging menu that includes lean burgers, rice bowls, salads, wraps, paninis and smoothies. In addition to airport locations in Boston, Cleveland and Dallas, construction is underway at two locations in the Salt Lake City International Airport, which will open in April.
Elizabeth Freed is an Associate Content Editor with 1105 Media, Inc.