SOURCE: Wellsphere

May 07, 2008 06:49 ET

Wellsphere Launches Wellternatives to Help You Make Better Menu Choices -- Anytime, Anywhere

Revolutionary Service Suggests Healthier Choices, and Provides Instant Access to Nutrition Information for Your Favorite Restaurants

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - May 7, 2008) - Wellsphere, the leading healthy living technology company, announced today the launch of Wellternatives, a service that recommends healthy alternatives for your favorite dishes at hundreds of thousands of chain restaurants. Anyone can use their cell phone to receive suggested Wellternatives along with calorie and nutrition information, for free. It's quick, fun and easy to use, even for the technology-shy. Wellternatives works from any cell phone and there's no need to download software or learn anything new. The service, along with complete menu listings and ratings, is also available online via Wellsphere's website.

"Americans dining out eat a whopping 64% of their meals at chain restaurants," said Wellsphere CEO Ron Gutman, "but they have no idea what these restaurants put in their food. Wellsphere community members are constantly searching for menu options that are not only convenient, tasty and inexpensive, but also healthy." A recent survey by Aramark found that 83% of diners want restaurants to make nutritional information available, yet restaurant chains from New York to California are battling with government officials to avoid posting their nutrition data. "Consumers shouldn't have to suffer while lobbyists and lawmakers battle it out in court," said Gutman. "It's clear that Americans want more information about what they put in their bodies, and are looking for healthier menu options that taste good. Nutrition information is readily available on packaged food labels, so why shouldn't it be available for people when they're dining out? With Wellternatives, we give people the information they need to make better menu choices -- anytime, anywhere."

Wellsphere's team of physicians, computer scientists, nutrition experts and restaurant industry veterans recognize that individual taste preferences and satisfaction are every bit as important as a food's nutritional value. Wellsphere's proprietary algorithm for recommending Wellternatives not only considers key nutritional factors, but also takes into account taste preference profiles, portion sizes and types of food. The goal is to give people healthier alternatives at their favorite restaurants that they will find just as satisfying and delicious as the foods they usually eat.

"To help us rank the menu items in each restaurant category and make it easy for users quickly compare different alternatives, each menu item is given a Wellscore™. The Wellscore is calculated using a proprietary multivariate model that combines expert medical knowledge and USDA nutrition guidelines to make a scientifically accurate, medically valid assessment of a dish's nutritional value," explains Wellsphere's CIO Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, MD, PhD. "It's startling to see the wide differences in nutritional values between seemingly similar restaurant menu items," said Dr. Rutledge. "We are excited to empower users to make better and more informed decisions when they go out to eat."

Using Wellternatives, Wellsphere community member Nancy B. was amazed to discover that her favorite Chili's appetizer, the 'Awesome Blossom' onion rings, has more than 2,700 calories and 200 grams of fat! "The suggested Wellternative -- Chili's Classic Nachos -- is just as delicious, with 800 fewer calories and half the fat," said Nancy.

To try Wellternatives, send a text to 878787 with the word 'diet' followed by the name of the restaurant and menu item, or visit

About Wellsphere

Wellsphere is a fast growing healthy living technology company based in San Mateo, CA. Wellsphere develops web and mobile technologies to help people live healthier, happier lives, provides a free healthier living social utility for individuals at, and builds healthier living platforms for large organizations.

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