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Sep 15, 2011 6:08 AM by Kirsten Bennett

Restaurants get behind the first lady's plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and four other popular restaurant chains is following Michelle Obama's lead and pledging to reduce the calories and sodium in its meals and overhaul its kids' menu.

Drew Madsen, president of Darden Restaurants, tells The Associated Press he will make the announcement Thursday at one of its restaurants in a Maryland suburb of Washington.

The first lady, who is campaigning to reduce childhood obesity, will be on hand for support.

Madsen says the company will reduce calories and sodium by 20 percent over 10 years. It will also make a fruit or vegetable side and low-fat milk standard with kids' meals. If a child wants French fries or a sweetened drink, an adult will have to ask.

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