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Taco Bell going on a health kick

NEW YORK — Taco Bell isn’t putting down the chalupa just yet, but it wants to start shedding its reputation as a purveyor of junk food.

The chain said Wednesday that it is exploring ways to offer more ‘‘balanced choices,’’ marking just the latest sign that the fast-food industry is trying to adapt to changing tastes and upend the conventional wisdom that it only offers caloric indulgences.

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In a call with reporters, chief executive Greg Creed said Taco Bell is testing a range of products this year, with national launches planned for 2014. He also said existing menu items could also be reformulated but noted that the chain would remain true to its brand.

‘‘We’re not going to walk away from who Taco Bell is,’’ Creed said.

By 2020, the unit of Yum Brands Inc. says 20 percent of its combo meals will meet nutritional guidelines for calories and fat set out by the federal government.

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