Nutrition and Calorie Labeling For Restaurants, Movies, and Groceries
Following in the footsteps of the likes of New York City and many other cities and states, the FDA finalized a rule that now requires many new foods and locations to post calorie counts on menus. This is a major change that will result in much greater transparency for consumers dining out and eating on the go.
Why The Change?
When you eat out, you rarely know how many calories you are consuming, and restaurant meals are much more likely to be high in calories than meals at home. And apparently Americans eat and drink roughly 1/3 of their calories away from home. The aim of this rule is to help consumers make more informed decisions and make it easier to eat healthy. The benefits, according to the FDA, outweigh the costs nearly 5 to 1.
Who It Applies To
Calories and serving information now have to be posted in chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, vending machines, pizza parlors, movie theaters, amusement parks, and more (click to read more details).
Furthermore, full nutrition information (including fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, fiber, and protein) must be provided upon consumer request.
Certain alcoholic beverages will be included under the rule as well, like cocktails listed on menus.
If you're curious if your restaurant or business falls under the rule there is a good Q&A on the FDA site, or you can ask us.
When It Starts
The labeling rules take effect in one year, so they'll have to be complied with by the end of 2015.