Abstract| Volume 54, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S9-S10, July 2022

O18 Restaurant-Based Programming to Improve Healthy Food Access: Eat Fit Program Impact and Factors that Influence Adoption

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      We examined the impact of the Eat Fit program (EF) on healthy food access for customers and restaurant manager/owner factors that contribute to program adoption.

      Use of Theory or Research

      Social cognitive theory informed constructs measured regarding restaurant manager/owner factors that contributed to program adoption.

      Target Audience

      Restaurant owner/managers and customers in New Orleans, Louisiana

      Program Description

      EF works with restaurants in Louisiana to offer easily identifiable healthy options on food menus. Healthy options are promoted on and are searchable within a map-based, EF smartphone app.

      Evaluation Methods

      Pre- and post-program implementation environmental assessments and cross-sectional manager/owner surveys were collected.


      In 44 restaurants, an average increase of 4.5 healthy items was observed from pre- to post-EF implementation. All restaurants with no healthy dishes at baseline (n = 9) added healthy offerings. Of 49 surveyed restaurant managers/owners, most had positive beliefs towards offering healthy options (n = 41), positive perceptions of staff knowledge and skills to offer healthy options (n = 29), high levels of support to implement EF (n = 41), and positive perceptions of EF success in their restaurants (n = 41). Most commonly cited barriers to implementation were customer preference (n = 26), ingredient availability (n = 16), staff knowledge (n = 15), and operational challenges (n = 14). Facilitators included: desire to increase healthy food access (n = 36), desire to entice customers seeking healthy options (n = 36), belief that restaurants should offer healthy foods (n = 34), and opportunities to market the restaurant through EF (n = 34).


      The availability of healthy food options increased after program implementation, indicating that programs like EF hold promise for improving customer food choices, especially where no healthy options may exist. When recruiting new restaurants, restaurant-based healthy eating programs may focus on the role restaurants can play in promoting health, benefits of offering healthy food, and the idea of social responsibility. Programs like EF may consider more training for restaurant staff for improved staff nutrition knowledge, program buy-in, and program implementation and fidelity.


      Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana Foundation.