With support from Community Transformation Grant funding, Dallas County Public Health and Iowa State Extension & Outreach, worked with Dexfield Diner in Redfield to increase healthy choices on their new menu, and feedback from customers is positive.

Dexfield Diner’s "old" menu was assessed utilizing the Nutritional Environment Measures Survey for Restaurants and the results were reviewed by Owner Nancy Smith and General Manager Jeremy Borcherding.

With input from the ISU Extension & Outreach dietitian, Borcherding created a new menu that includes a "Healthier Selections" section.

"I’m excited about the new changes in the menu," said Smith. "Getting more healthy choices on the menu has been a goal for me."

The menu was unveiled in March and healthier choices include salads, wraps, a turkey burger and wheat buns.

"The protein salad with grilled chicken or salmon has been very popular," Borcherding said. "We have received a lot of positive feedback on the new menu."

Dallas County Public Health assessed other menus in the county and is currently working with two other restaurants on increasing healthier choices.

"It’s not about taking away all the less healthy foods," said Janice Jensen, executive director of Dallas County Public Health. "It’s about providing options to make it easy and appealing to choose a healthier meal."

Increasingly the food environment is widely believed to contribute to the epidemic of obesity in the United States. The Nutritional Environment Measures Survey was developed to research the food environment and is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Health Behavior Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Approximately one third of Iowans are considered obese, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more. Many more are overweight, defined as having a body mass index of 25 to 29. Obesity is a leading cause of heart disease. Overweight/obesity also contributes to diabetes; and, other debilitating and life threatening conditions.