LAFAYETTE, La. – Eat Fit, a program of Ochsner Health System (Ochsner), announced today that its program will expand statewide in partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana (BCBSLAF) to Lafayette, serving as a resource for all things wellness. The newest region, Eat Fit Acadiana, is also in partnership with Lafayette General Health (LGH). Partners since April 2015, LGH and Ochsner are continuously looking for joint ventures to improve the health of the community.
Eat Fit— a program that encourages chefs to offer nutritious, delicious meals for those who want to eat clean, watch their weight and manage certain health issues— was founded by Ochsner Fitness Center Registered Dietitian Molly Kimball in New Orleans in 2013. Free to all restaurants and foodservice partners, Eat Fit encourages nutritious choices whether an individual is looking to lose weight, feel better or look better, along with help to manage health issues including diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Eat Fit team of dietitians works closely with local restaurants, markets and other types of foodservice establishments to identify and develop dishes that meet the Eat Fit nutritional criteria. These items are identified directly on the menu with the Eat Fit seal of approval, making the healthy choice the easy choice when dining out.
“Our mission is to help people to live the strongest, healthiest lives possible,” said David Gaines Chief Executive Officer – System Retail Services & Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Ochsner Health System. “Eat Fit has been a successful program aimed at providing nutritious dining options that can easily be integrated into new lifestyle changes. This is one of the many ways we are committed to improving health and wellness across the state.”
Eat Fit Acadiana will be staffed with an Eat Fit Registered Dietitian who will serve as a liaison between Eat Fit, the local community and program partners. As the physical support to each region, these registered dietitians will embark on a three-pronged mission of transforming access to healthy eating by incorporating Eat Fit into restaurants and markets, prevention and management of chronic disease through positive lifestyle changes and improving nutrition literacy for all individuals.
“The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is committed to supporting regional initiatives like Eat Fit,” said Michael Tipton, the organization’s president. “We know from many years of investing in this field that communities that work together toward an inclusive vision of health are most likely to be successful. Eat Fit fostered that kind of change in New Orleans, and we’re excited to see the same long-lasting, sustainable results across the state.”
Eat Fit expansion into Acadiana will include restaurant partners Zea, Tsunami, Good Eats Kitchen, Social Southern, Whole Foods Market and many more, with plans to gain additional restaurant partners over the next three years. View a full list of Eat Fit Acadiana restaurant partners here.
“Joining together on Eat Fit Acadiana was an easy decision,” said David L. Callecod, FACHE, LGH President. “We are already exploring an Eat Fit Approved Cajun seasoning blend and I foresee many great things coming from this initiative.”
Additional partners in the Eat Fit coalition currently include Louisiana Department of Health, Healthy BR, Fit NOLA, Well-Ahead Louisiana, FoodCare, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Ochsner Health Network, Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Ballard Brands, Whole Foods Market, Centerplate, Morrison Healthcare, Waitr Meal Delivery App, UberEATS, Cumulus Radio, Natural Awakenings Magazine, and many additional restaurant and grocery partners.
Current Eat Fit regions include Eat Fit Baton Rouge, Bayou, New Orleans, Northshore and Washington Parish with plans to expand to Southwest Louisiana later this year.
Download the NEW Ochsner Eat Fit smartphone app on Google or the Android app store to find participating Eat Fit restaurants with full nutrition facts for Eat Fit menu items, recipes, community wellness resources and opportunities to connect with a health professional in your area.
For more information on Eat Fit and where you can find Eat Fit offerings in your region, visit www.OchsnerEatFit.com.
About Eat Fit
Eat Fit—a program of Ochsner Health System— is a nonprofit initiative designed to help the community live their healthiest, strongest lives possible. The team of Eat Fit dietitians works closely with local restaurants, markets and other foodservice establishments to identify and develop dishes that meet the Eat Fit nutritional criteria. The Eat Fit nutritional criteria include no white carbs, less than a teaspoon of added sugar, reduced sodium and animal fats, making it a perfect fit for individuals with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, as well as those looking to lose a few points or just want to eat clean. These items are identified directly on the menu with the Eat Fit seal of approval, making the healthy choice the easy choice when dining out.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. Together Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invest $2.5 million each year into Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits.
About Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across four specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,200 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit www.ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Lafayette General Health
Lafayette General Health (LGH) is a non-profit, community-owned regional healthcare system committed to always delivering excellence. LGH serves the south-central region of Louisiana by aligning with facilities across a 10-parish area known as Acadiana. LGH’s flagship hospital, Lafayette General Medical Center, in operation since 1911, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that does not pay out any revenue to shareholders as for-profits do. LGH also owns or manages Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, Lafayette General Southwest, St. Martin Hospital, University Hospital & Clinics, Acadia General Hospital and Abrom Kaplan Memorial Hospital, and has several affiliations with facilities across the region. Both Lafayette General Medical Center and University Hospital & Clinics are major teaching hospitals, providing graduate medical education across many disciplines. LGH owns LGMD, a non-profit corporation that operates and manages several physician clinics including Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, as well as many specialists and surgeons.