Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Comment on the Proposed FDA Menu Labeling Law

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 6:50 AM

Doughnut with nutrition labeling at Starbucks (image from weightymatters.ca)
  • Doughnut with nutrition labeling at Starbucks (image from weightymatters.ca)
Lively threads on this blog confirm that people are concerned about what they eat in general, and specifically in restaurants. For instance, if you knew those chili cheese fries had 1,000 calories per serving, and the basket contains two servings, would that influence your decision to order them?

New York City thought so, and passed a menu labeling law in 2006, implemented in 2008. The results seemed to be mixed: ordering habits didn't change at fast food outlets in poor neighborhoods.

But another study of 12,000 transactions, found that the average order at 9 of 13 fast food and quick restaurants was 106 calories lower after the labeling law took effect. It was higher at four of the chains.

A new law proposed as part of the Affordable Care Act, passed in March, would require nutritional information labeling at retail restaurant establishments with more than 20 locations.

The FDA encourages comment by the food industry, state and local governments, consumers, and other interested parties. The docket number is FDA-2010-N-0298 at www.regulations.gov. The docket opened for comments on July 7, 2010, and will remain open for 60 days.

Hat tip to Food Safety News.

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