With the New Year sure to bring many weight loss resolutions, fast-casual restaurant Boston Market is launching a web marketing promotion to present its food offerings as healthy and affordable solutions for reducing excess belly fat.

The McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) subsidiary announced the launch of ‘The Gut Check Challenge’ on Wednesday to help consumers measure their waists, and take steps to become trimmer through better nutrition, including suggestions for food selections from its own store. According to the Shape of Nations survey commissioned by the World Heart Federation, almost 37 percent of men and 55 percent of women in the United States were carrying too much belly fat.

“It's a much better idea to focus on portion sizes and include nutritious, wholesome foods in the mix,” said nutrition consultant Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, LD, FADA in a statement from the firm.

The National Institutes of Health recommends that men with waists measuring 37 inches or greater and women with waists larger than 31.5 inches should modify their lifestyles to reduce their waists. A waist greater than the recommended level could increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and other long-term problems.

The food chain says consumers use the higher price and inconvenience of healthier foods as excuses to make poor choices. The firm hopes to rebut that way of thinking by making some of its meals nutritional and cheap, starting with its $4.99 value menu.

McDonald’s shares rose 43 cents or 0.98 percent to $44.24 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.