Cafeteria Style Restaurants Going Healthy

Helping Combat Obesity Epidemic

By Andres Gutierrez
|  Sunday, Jul 15, 2012  |  Updated 11:42 PM CDT
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Many Americans are trying to eat healthier and a growing number of restaurants are changing their menus to help them. Some traditional chains here in North Texas are now putting a modern spin on their cafeteria style selections.

Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News

Many Americans are trying to eat healthier and a growing number of restaurants are changing their menus to help them. Some traditional chains here in North Texas are now putting a modern spin on their cafeteria style selections.

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Nicholas Varela loves to indulge on a mouthwatering burger.  However, he makes sure a salad is part of the meal. 

"If you want to get something healthier--you can, but if want something more delightful you can definitely do that as well," Varela said. 
 
He is one of hundreds are diners at Furr's Fresh Buffet's newest restaurant in Plano -- where the old-school cafeteria style lines have evolved into stations.
 
Among the sizzling burgers and juicy roast beef at Furr’s, there are two large salad bars offering customers fresh fruits and vegetables.
 
"The customer really appreciate the efforts we make in that area," Bob Bell
Furr's Fresh Buffet, Regional Director said.
 
John Reynolds has type-two diabetes that makes him keep a keen eye on what he puts on his plate.
 
"To come here and get the selection I want is almost better than going to the refrigerator at home with two teenagers at home because I can actually eat better here," Reynolds said.
 
Over at Luby's their "Livin' Smart" program places an emphasis on fresh and healthy foods. 
 
"We are proud to offer that type of selection as well on a daily basis not just one or two or three healthy option along with an assortment of fried stuff," Ken Warzecha
Luby's, DFW Vice President said.
 
The move is not surprising in a nation where every one in three adults are considered obese.
Ways to get healthy seem to be everywhere with initiatives like the First Lady's “Let's Move” campaign.
 
Cities like New York forcing restaurants to post the amount of calories on the menus and the city’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg even proposing banning soft drinks larger than 16 ounces at eateries, street carts and stadiums.
 
"It allows us to serve wholesome nutritious meals in a concept that is relevant to younger families," Jill Laird, Furr's Fresh Buffet, Marketing Director said.

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