Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Law Obliges Chains to Report Calorie Data

Nationwide in 2011, chain restaurants will be obligated to provide health information on their menus. What does this mean? Restaurants with 20 or more outlets will be required by law to provide calorie data on all menu items (based on a 2,000-calorie daily guideline).

New York made disclosing nutritional information a law years ago, with hopes of labeling affecting consumers decisions. Vending machines are a popular outlet for unhealthy treats, and will be providing tabs of information for those inclined to check. When telling my mom about this development, she actually sounded disappointed saying it "took the fun out of things". However, in order for middle-agers to maintain their weight, they're expected to work out an hour a day. For over-weight middle-agers, an hour and twenty minutes. For someone who has aversions to sweaty, beefed out gyms, I'm excited to become aware of possible consequences to impulsive buys. An example, and an all time favorite, king-size snickers bars. Would you expect them to pack an extra 440 calories onto your day? Big Mac's may be less appetizing when you read they're packed with 540 calories, and while balanced, they contain a mean amount of sodium and saturated fat.

By creating this national policy, Americans will simply become more conscious of what they spend more than half their food dollars on.

[“I think it is an historic development,” said Kelly D. Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. Consumers spend more than half their food dollars outside of the home, he said, “and when people eat away from home they eat more and they eat worse. And part of the reason may be because they don’t know what’s in fast foods, and they’re often shocked to find out.”]

Law Obliges Chains to Report Calorie Data


ErinF said...
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Michael Merali said...

I agree with Erin. This is definitely a step forward and will definitely make people double think ordering that one size up on the menu. I remember my last trip to Burger King in New York and just seeing a 1,500 calorie option on the menu really took away some of my appetite.

Emily Asqueri said...

Yayyyy! This is so exciting! I had seen this being done in New York and am so glad this is going to be mandatory for the U.S. I also think that if chains are forced to report calorie data it might make them want to slim-down the options on their menu!