Wednesday, April 6. 2011
In an effort to combat the nation's growing waistlines, the Food and Drug Administration announced that chain restaurants, convenience stores, concession stands and vending machines will have to display calorie information for their food products by as early as next year.
The rules were included in a provision of the healthcare reform law and are subject to a public comment period before they are finalized in 2012. The regulations require any restaurant with 20 or more locations - including coffee shops and fast-food establishments - to clearly disclose calorie information on menus, including drive-thru menu boards. Additional nutritional information would have to be available upon request.
Michael Taylor, a deputy FDA commissioner for foods, said the goal of the policy is for consumers to process calorie information as they make menu choices, which will hopefully help them pick healthier options.
"We do see this as an important step in providing consumers with information they can use in choosing healthy diets and fighting obesity," Taylor said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, conditions that can cause a variety of illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. To enforce healthy nutritional habits early in life, First Lady Michelle Obama has initiated the Lets Move! campaign, which works to provide healthy food options in public schools and encourages kids to get active.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)