Want to know how many calories are in that burger? Sit tight. The FDA has delayed menu calorie count rules. – The Washington Post

Want to know how many calories are in that slice of delivery pizza or movie theater popcorn? Sit tight. America will elect a new president before menus across the country are required to feature detailed calorie counts.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will push back the deadline for chain restaurants, grocery stories and other establishments to post calorie counts on their menus. The businesses now will have until Dec. 1, 2016, a year longer than the FDA initially proposed.

The move comes amid persistent pressure on the agency from various corners of the food industry to delay enforcement of the rules. The FDA said that since February, it has received numerous requests from for a postponement, including from groups such as the Food Marketing Institute, the National Association of Theater Owners, the American Beverage Association and Publix Super Markets.

via Want to know how many calories are in that burger? Sit tight. The FDA has delayed menu calorie count rules. – The Washington Post.

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F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies – NYTimes.com

This seems like such a simple step. I don’t know why it’s taking so long..

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.

 

The rules will have broad implications for public health. As much as a third of the calories that Americans consume come from outside the home, and many health experts believe that increasingly large portion sizes and unhealthy ingredients have been significant contributors to obesity in the United States.

“This is one of the most important public health nutrition policies ever to be passed nationally,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Right now, you are totally guessing at what you are getting. This rule will change that.”

 

The rules are far broader than consumer health advocates had expected, covering food in vending machines and amusement parks, as well as certain prepared foods in supermarkets. They apply to food establishments with 20 or more outlets, including fast-food chains like KFC and Subway and sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory.

Perhaps the most surprising element of the new rules was the inclusion of alcoholic beverages, which had not been part of an earlier proposal. Beverages served in food establishments that are on menus and menu boards will be included, but a mixed drink at a bar will not, F.D.A. officials said.re Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies – NYTimes.com.

Revised Food Labels Still Won’t Tell Whole Story – NYTimes.com

Are you among the half of Americans who say they check the nutrition labels on packaged foods when shopping? If you can read the information without a magnifying glass, do you understand what the many numbers mean to your health?

Do you look only at calories, or do you also check the amounts of sugar, sodium, protein or dietary fiber in a serving? And does the serving size listed represent how much you might actually consume at a sitting?

The Nutrition Facts label, mandated by Congress on processed food packages since 1990, was designed to help Americans consume a more nutritious diet. If manufacturers had to reveal the nutrients and calories in foods, the reasoning went, they might be encouraged to add more nourishing ingredients and to eliminate or reduce those that are detrimental to health.

This strategy worked well for reducing artery-damaging trans fats, now all but gone from processed foods, but not nearly so well for ridding products of salt and sugar. And manufacturers added things like vitamins, minerals and fiber to make products appear healthier than they really are.

“Although the numbers can look good, the product may not be real food and have no nutritional value,” said Dr. David Kessler, who as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration championed the development of the current label.

The epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes show that the goal of a healthier population has yet to be realized. One obstacle is that those most likely to read food labels are health-conscious people who least need to do so.

via Revised Food Labels Still Won’t Tell Whole Story – NYTimes.com.