Jeff Novick 0

RDs For Nutrition Info On Restaurant Menu's

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On April 10, 2008, the American Dietitic Association (ADA) issued the following Stance on Restaurant Labeling "To date, ADA has not supported any legislative proposals requiring restaurant calorie labeling. ADA generally praises state and local officials for their attention to this matter, but we urge caution in endorsing restaurant legislation or initiatives in the absence of scientific support to indicate that the action will be effective." However, the National Academies\' Institute of Medicine recommends that restaurant chains \"provide calorie content and other key nutrition information on menus and packaging that is prominently visible at point of choice and use\" (2006). The Food and Drug Administration, Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, and American Medical Association also recommend providing nutrition information at restaurants. Currently, in the USA, two-thirds or adults are overweight and over one-third are obese. People need nutrition information to manage their weight and reduce the risk of or manage heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, which are leading causes of death, disability, and high health-care costs. Surveys show that 78% of Americans support menu labeling. The average American eats out four meals a week; that is enough to lead to over-consuming calories not just on the day the person eats out, but also to exceed calorie requirements over the course of a whole week. American adults and children consume on average one third of their calories from eating out. Children eat almost twice as many calories when they eat a meal at a restaurant compared to a meal at home. When eating out, people eat more saturated fat and fewer nutrients, such as calcium and fiber, than at home. Three-quarters of adults report using nutrition labels on packaged food, and studies show that providing nutrition information at restaurants can help people make lower calorie choices and that using labels is associated with eating more healthful diets. We, who are Registered Dietitians and members of the ADA, urge the ADA to amend its current stance and join these other prominent science-based, health care organizations in recommending and supporting the providing of nutrition information at restaurants.


Jeffrey Novick, MS, RD, LD/N

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