Tuesday, March 30, 2010

US Healthcare Reform Makes Restaurants Post Nutritional Info

Source: AOL News (Summary by NIM)

With all the talk about the US health care reform, many people are wondering what exactly it means for them. Well, anyone associated with a chain restaurant, whether they be customers or the CEO, will most definitely be affected by section 2572 of the 2,000 page document.

This particular section requires all major chain restaurants (any chain with more than 20 outlets) to post their nutritional information for all to see. And that doesn't just mean on the main menu board, either- it's everywhere you can see it including hand-held menus, drive-through displays and even vending machines!

This has been the norm for some time now in healthy-conscious states like New York and California, but it may be an eye-opener for unsuspecting chain-restaurant patrons. According to a release last year from the National Restaurant Association, "The only way to ensure consumers get the nutrition information they want and need is for the federal government to establish a uniform national nutrition standard that requires chain restaurants to provide consistent, detailed nutrition information in writing in their restaurants,"

Even if people don't currently know the exact magnitude of the calorie content of the foods they're choosing, on the whole, I think they can usually tell the difference between something that's low-cal and high-cal. Admittedly, however, this can be confusing as some foods that are touted as 'good for us' can be high in calories and fat. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled about this new development and believe that it will likely stop more than a few people dead in their tracks before they grab their next Venti frappuccino, gigantic burrito or Mc-Artery-clogging meal!

Find out more about these new rules by reading the article called "Hidden Health Care Clause: Menu Labels Go National" from AOL News (Mar. 22, 2010).