Healthy Dining Awarded NIH Funding to Develop New “Virtual Menu Concierge” for Diabetes Management

First ever research evaluating behavior change via personalized recommendations when eating away from home

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (October 30, 2018) – California-based Accents On Health, Inc., (DBA Healthy Dining) has received funding through the National Institute Of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Healthy Dining will work in collaboration with Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute on this project to ultimately impact the eating habits of the 30.3 million Americans with diabetes and the 84 million with prediabetes.  Americans consume about 32% of their calories from food away from home (1), and compared to meals prepared at home, food away from home contains more calories, total fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugars (2).

Titled, “Dining with Diabetes: Personalized Technology for Self Management,” this project entails the development and evaluation of a portfolio of MyMenu® web and mobile tools that provide real time, point-of-purchase intervention allowing diners to access personalized recommendations for restaurants, menu items and nutrition information based on the user’s health goals and personal preferences.

“One of the most common requests we get from our patients living with type 2 diabetes is for help with their daily food choices and nutrition information,” says Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, Corporate Vice President of Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute. “MyMenu offers a personalized mobile approach to food choices while dining out that can empower our patients to choose the best menu items when eating in restaurants. Testing this approach will provide much-needed evidence on easier and more effective ways to provide this valuable information to people with diabetes.”

“For the millions of Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes, a restaurant visit or a quick meal on-the-go can be a time of great apprehension and guilt, as well as a cause of debilitating physical reactions,” says Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH, president of Healthy Dining. “It doesn’t have to be. MyMenu solves this problem through our advanced personalization technology powered by our ingredient-level database which is built in partnership with restaurants. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Scripps as we develop the MyMenu platform to ultimately help millions of Americans improve health and enjoy restaurant dining with family and friends.” 

The Phase I feasibility research will include a qualitative assessment and focus groups with individuals living with type 2 diabetes, key informant interviews with certified diabetes educators (CDEs), and four weeks of a simple “one click” method of menu item tracking by study participants when eating away from home. The Phase II project, a randomized control trial, will expand the Phase I objectives and will measure eating behavior change and health improvement based on food orders tracked through the MyMenu® platform.  

This research is supported by the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program funded through the National Institute Of Diabetes And Digestive And Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43DK119089. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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(1)    U.S. Department of Agriculture. [Accessed June 7, 2016] Food-Away-from-Home. USDA Economic Research Service website. Updated October 29, 2014.

(2)    Lachat C, Nago E, Verstraeten R, Roberfroid D, Van Camp J, Kolsteren P. Eating out of home and its association with dietary intake: a systematic review of the evidence. Obes Rev. 2012; 13(4):329– 346. [PubMed: 22106948].

About Healthy Dining

Accents On Health, Inc., DBA Healthy Dining, has received 13 awards through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. These awards focus on the development and evaluation of health-related behavior and environmental change strategies for the restaurant industry. These projects, and the technologies and services developed, provide the Healthy Dining team with deep insights into the successful execution for short- and long-term public health benefit.

Healthy Dining has grown to be the most experienced restaurant nutrition services provider in the world, supporting restaurants of all types and sizes. Services include nutrient analysis, allergen and gluten identification, and validation of attributes such as “organic,” “clean,” “vegan,” and other terms. The company’s signature site,, originally developed through NIH SBIR funding, is the only search engine of its kind helping Americans easily find better-for-you menu choices at thousands of participating restaurants coast to coast. 

Healthy Dining has recently launched MyMenu,® a “virtual menu concierge” that gives guests unprecedented personalization functionality to find menu items based on personal health needs and lifestyle preferences. This groundbreaking technology – accessed on the restaurant websites, mobile apps, and/or tablets and kiosks within the restaurant setting – is poised to revolutionize how guests choose restaurants and find menu items aligned with personal goals and preferences. The MyMenu platform, now launched with nearly 1,200 restaurant locations, will also be available at an enterprise level for universities, health and wellness organizations, weight and diabetes management, wearables and other wellness-focused industries in 2019.


For more information, contact Anita Jones-Mueller, MPH at