Great Resource on Healthy Eating

One of the best ways to stay informed is to see trends in research.

One of my favorite sites to stay current is:

www.healthyeatingresearch.org

Here is new information on the value of food menus and labeling which you can access by visiting this superb site:

 MENU LABELING

Menu labeling, the practice of providing information about calories, fat, sodium, or other selected nutrients in menu items at points of purchase, is one strategy in a broad spectrum of efforts to reduce rates of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases in the United States. Since many Americans consume foods away from home, access to nutrition information at points of food and beverage purchases may help consumers make healthier choices. Menu labeling regulations for chain restaurants, usually in the form of calorie information at the point of purchase, have been adopted by more than 20 states and localities and implemented in 11 states or local jurisdictions. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to finalize national menu labeling regulations in 2013. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires restaurant chains (and similar retail food providers) with 20 or more outlets to clearly and conspicuously post on all menus and menu boards the number of calories contained in each menu item.

Menu labels can appear on menu boards, food tags (cards with nutritional information placed next to food items in display cases or cafeteria lines), or printed menus. The specific information and display requirements vary and are largely dependent upon the policy in the jurisdiction or institution in which the food service site is located.

 

The Evidence

  • Most customers and the majority of the general public want restaurants and cafeterias to have menu labeling.
  • Customers rarely seek out nutrition information from sources not available at the point of purchase (e.g., websites, brochures), but they do see menu labels at the point of purchase and those labels increase their awareness of nutritional information.
  • Evidence from surveys and simulation studies suggests menu labeling reduces calories purchased or consumed, but evidence from real-world cafeteria and restaurant studies regarding calories purchased or menu items selected is mixed.
  • The impact of menu labeling is not uniform.

 

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