Lani Taormina, Department of Public Health
Lani is a Health Communication Specialist at the Department of Public Health
If you’re living on the south shore near Weymouth, you may already know about Olympic Pizza. If you don’t, then add it to this weekend’s to-do list.
The menu is full of the all the usual staples you’d expect: Greek-style pizza, fries, mozzarella sticks and chicken parm, just to name a few.
But as you’re trying to decide what to order, you may notice the supplemental “Light-Wey Meals” menu sitting nearby. You see options like a Mediterranean salad, with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, olives and mint drizzled in olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Or maybe your eyes gravitate towards the Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken, or the Chicken Gyro, made with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion and a delicious homemade tzatziki sauce. As you read on, you may be even more surprised to see they offer Grilled Chicken, Broccoli and Garlic served on Whole Wheat ziti, or pizza made with whole wheat dough (I tried it, and it was out of this world).
‘What is this?’ you ask yourself. It’s part of the Weymouth Mass in Motion’s Healthy Wey program. Healthy Wey is inspiring the community to eat healthier and move more. It is also working to lower the town's high rate of childhood obesity, since just under half of Weymouth students are overweight or obese.
I spoke with Valerie Sullivan, Healthy Wey Mass in Motion coordinator for Weymouth, who told me there are many different restaurants in Weymouth, and many of them are pizza parlors. “Our goal is to increase access to healthier foods at the restaurants residents know and love."
So, Healthy Wey is partnering with local eateries to offer up dishes that not only taste good, but are also good for the waistline. Olympic Pizza was the first establishment in the town to join the program, as Frannie Xerokostas, co-owner of Olympic Pizza, thought it would be a great idea to have healthy options for her customers to enjoy.
Weymouth is just one of the many towns with a Healthy Dining program – others include Somerville, Everett, Medford, Fall River, New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard, Malden, Waltham, the Tri-County area and many more are starting up programs of their own.
So over the next few months, start looking a Healthy Dining Options Decal in restaurant windows in your community.