MD, MPH, director of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

“While we haven’t yet reached the point where we can count on highly nutritious food as the default, we have turned the corner so that wholesome food is an option. More and more restaurants are participating in the Healthy Dining Program and highlighting menu offerings for health-conscious customers. My new book, ‘Disease Proof,’ is all about the incredible power of lifestyle practices, including diet, over our health, and even over our very genes. Tools like Healthy Dining Finder illustrate just the kind of innovations we need so more people can exercise that power, and add both years to life and life to years. This is practical empowerment, when and where you need it.

“Taste buds tend to favor the familiar. My research shows that by proceeding incrementally, small changes over time can make important improvements in nutritional quality. This way, nutritional changes in recipes are changing in parallel with taste buds and preferences over time. Better still would be to combine such changes in recipes with public education by health organizations and other stakeholders as well as the media. This way, Americans will come to prefer more nutritious food wherever they are — restaurants, schools, supermarkets and worksite. We can all come to love food that loves us back, but no one entity should be responsible for getting us there. It takes all stakeholders working together.”

Dr. Katz is the director of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, an instructor at Yale’s School of Medicine, editor of Childhood Obesity, and inventor of the NuVal nutritional guidance system, currently in roughly 1,700 U.S. supermarkets. He has published nearly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters. In addition, Dr. Katz has an extensive media portfolio. He has worked for ABC News/Good Morning America; has been a writer for the New York Times syndicate; has been a columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine; has been a blogger for the Huffington Post, Everyday Health and US News & World Report; and been named as a ‘thought leader’ Influencer for LinkedIn.

Anita Jones-Mueller, M.P.H., is president and founder of Healthy Dining. For more information, visit HealthyDiningFinder.com or email Anita@HealthyDiningFinder.com.