FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mandi Yohn, 202-777-2509 or via email
American Public Health Association Supports FDA’s Menu Labeling Rule
Regulations will help consumers make informed decisions about food choices
Washington, D.C., November 25, 2014 — The American Public Health Association voiced its strong support today for the Food and Drug Administration’s new rule requiring that nutrition information be posted on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and other food retailers, as required by the Affordable Care Act. The rule, originally proposed in 2011, will provide consumers with more nutritional information about food choices.
The menu labeling rule covers restaurant chains and similar retail food establishments including supermarkets, convenience stores and movie theaters with 20 or more locations. These establishments will be required to clearly and conspicuously display meaningful calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards. Additionally, menus and menu boards are required to include a statement that additional nutrient information is available in writing upon request – including total fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugars – as well as a statement about suggested daily caloric intake. Establishments will have one year to comply with these requirements.
“By providing the required nutritional information, consumers will have the information they need to make healthier, more educated decisions about their food choices when eating outside the home,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “These regulations are an achievement for public health, and are a positive step toward fighting the high chronic disease rates that plague our nation.”
APHA, along with other stakeholders, submitted comments to the FDA during the development of the rule. The final rule, “Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments,” is available in the Federal Register.
While APHA applauds the FDA’s menu labeling rule, the Association is disappointed about the final rule regarding calorie labeling of vending machines, which allows vendors to post calorie information on a sign instead of next to each item, as APHA has advocated.
“We hope that FDA will reconsider this provision of the vending machine rule,” said Benjamin.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.