U.S. menu labeling may be gaining steam

By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A nationwide system requiring fast-food chains to list calories on their menus could be gaining support in Congress as more states adopt the practice and the restaurant industry concedes change is on the way, a consumer, industry and health panel said on Friday.

Laws requiring that calories and other nutritional information be posted have become increasingly popular as states and cities struggle to combat the country’s growing obesity problem while promoting health and nutrition. At the same time, lawmakers in Washington have struggled to get the practice adopted nationwide.

A bill introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Tom Harkin has stalled, according to a DeLauro aide, because of leadership in Congress and limited interest on the state level. The aide said the bill would be reintroduced in the next session of Congress.

Similar legislation has been introduced by Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware, a Democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican.

“We think our prospects are a little better, not because of the election results, but because of what’s been going on the state level,” the DeLauro aide told Reuters.

In late September, California became the first U.S. state to require fast-food restaurant chains to list calories on their menus. Similar calorie information went into effect in New York City earlier this year, and more than a dozen states are considering similar health code provisions.

Jonathan Blum, a senior vice president with Yum Brands, said the fast food company supports a uniform nationwide approach that would apply to supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants, including Yum’s Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands.

“This is far better for consumers and for our business than seeing a hodgepodge of different standards in different states and communities,” said Blum, who added a nationwide system would create a level playing field for all restaurants and better protect them from frivolous lawsuits.

After California passed its bill, and in response to comments from health, consumer and other groups, Yum has pledged to display calorie information on menus at its company-owned stores by 2011.

Margo Wootan, a director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said action by the states has helped spur the restaurant industry to become more interested in a national solution.

“We were not very effective asking for voluntary change,” she conceded.

The World Health Organization estimates 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight and at least 400 million adults are obese. That includes a third of all U.S. adults.

Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.


Related Posts:

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Youth who study just a short walk from a fast-food outlet eat fewer fruit and vegetables, drink more soda and are more likely to be obese than students at other schools, according to research published Tuesday. The study, which involved more than 500,000 adolescents at middle schools and high schools in

Full Post: Fast food + nearby schools = fat kids

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Burger King Corp, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, on Wednesday said it will limit sodium in its “Kids Meals” and that it was the first fast-food restaurant chain to take that step. The Miami-based company said it will limit sodium to 600 milligrams or less in all of its Kids Meals advertised

Full Post: Burger King begins limiting sodium in “Kids Meals”

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Yum Brands Inc’s Long John Silver’s on Sunday said it would roll out its first non-fried fish menu items later this month as the restaurant industry responds to consumer calls for healthier food. The new menu, called Freshside Grille, is lower in fat and calories than the quick-serve seafood chain’s standard fare.

Full Post: Yum’s Long John Silver’s to roll out healthy menu

You are roaming in Times Square or Central Park in New York; you will see lots of restaurants with banners of tempted food. How hard it is for a person to avoid going in such restaurants? It is not always easy for a food loving man to avoid these restaurants. Not only there, but you

Full Post: Good Diet Is Very Important For Good Health

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. leaders failed to take meaningful steps to reduce smoking over the past year, with a tobacco regulation bill stalling in Congress and a global treaty gathering dust, a major health group said on Tuesday. In its annual report on U.S. tobacco control efforts, the American Lung Association criticized the Bush

Full Post: Health group blasts inaction on tobacco control

Site Navigation

Most Read



  • kinwrite.com@gmail.com