Calorie labeling on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, retail food establishments, and vending machines are on the way in the United States. The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued two proposed regulations designed to give consumers more information when they make their own food choices.
“Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The Department’s official statement said the proposed menu labeling rule applies to chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments. Specifically, consumers would see calories listed in restaurants and similar retail food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. Examples of these establishments include fast food establishments, bakeries, coffee shops and certain grocery and convenience stores. Movie theaters, airplanes, bowling alleys, and other establishments whose primary purpose is not to sell food would not be subject to this proposed regulation. Additionally, the proposal invites the public to comment on whether additional types of food establishments should or should not be covered by the new rule. A companion rule proposes calorie posting for food sold in vending machines. The FDA is accepting comments on both proposed rules.