How Should Federal Menu Labeling Requirements Be Implemented?

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Healthcare and America’s obesity epidemic have been high priorities for President Obama.

On March 23, he signed a law that requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement a federal menu labeling program, which applies to certain restaurants, coffee shops, delis, movie theaters, bakeries, ice cream shops and vending machines.


  • Facilities with 20+ locations that offer substantially the same menu must list calorie content on interior and drive-through menus and menu boards.
  • Other nutrition information—total calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber and total protein—must be made available in writing, upon request.
  • Vending operators with 20+ machines must disclose products’ calorie content.

The FDA must issue proposed regulations by March 2011. In the meantime, the agency has invited consumers, the food industry, state and local governments, and other interested parties to submit comments and suggestions. The deadline is Sept. 7.

Take the opportunity to get involved. To view the full document and submit comments electronically, click here.

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