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QSRs Offering Expanded Selection of Low-Fat Fare

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New York City--Fast feeders, looking to shed their image as purveyors of poor nutrition, are stepping up efforts to attract health-conscious consumers with new lower-fat items and marketing campaigns that tout lighter menu options and the importance of exercise.

Wendy's is airing a national TV commercial featuring leaner products from its 99-cent Super Value Menu. The 60-second spot, dubbed "The Lunch Room," highlights a meal that has 5 grams of fat and consists of Wendy's small chili, side salad with fat-free dressing and plain baked potato. In addition to the commercial, the nation's third-largest burger chain is making its nutritional information more accessible through a revamped brochure and Web site, enhancing data Wendy's has provided for more than two decades, according to chain officials.

Burger King is expected to introduce a long-anticipated line of three chicken baguette sandwiches served on bread baked daily in the stores, each with 5 grams of fat and less than 350 calories, according to officials for the Miami-based chain.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell unveiled a lower-fat and lower-calorie menu option, called "Fresco Style," at its 6,000 branches nationwide. The new offering boasts 15 selections that have 10 or fewer grams of fat, compared with the traditional preparation with 280 calories and 17 grams of fat. Nutritional brochures and in-store marketing that promotes the importance of a healthful diet and exercise support the introduction. Taco Bell apparently is considering teaming up with American on the Move, a national program recently launched to motivate more active lifestyles. -Nation's Restaurant News

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