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Should The Us Government Mandate Re Labeling In Restaurants And Grocery Stores To Emphasize Calorie Count In Products

2111 words - 9 pages

Calorie and Nutrition labels are common tools to help give us an idea of what we are actually consuming. They are located on the back of everything from cereal boxes to cartons of milk. In the past few years, in hopes to help with the countries high obesity rate, the government has been working on passing laws to require calorie labeling in restaurants as well. Recently they have even been focusing on editing the current nutrition labels on packaged goods to emphasize total calories and added sugar as well. This is a controversial topic because while some weight watcher dieters and costumers may love the idea, restaurants are burdened with the costs of re-labeling, food companies must redesign packaging with the new labeling and there is fear of losing sales of higher calorie items. Should the U.S. government mandate calorie labeling in restaurants and grocery stores to emphasize the calorie count?
Calorie labeling began becoming a controversial topic in 2006 in New York City when the NYC Board of Heath voted to require the restaurants that already had calorie information available, to publish it on their menu and menu boards (New York State Restaurant Association v. New York City Board Of Health). Over time it has progressed because of President Obama passing the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. Under Sec. 4205: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants, calorie labeling is required of all restaurants with 20+ locations on the menu boards ( H.R. 3590--111th Congress: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). According to an article entitled “New Food Nutrition Labels Focus of Sugar, Calories” from the Latino Times, Michelle Obama and the Obama administration are working on revising Nutrition Labeling to bold and emphasize calories and added sugar, as well as change serving sizes to be more accurate (New Food Nutrition Labels Focus on Sugar, Calories). These changes are being made by the Obama administration in hopes of helping to lower the obesity rate in America, which according to a study from the Centers of Disease and Prevention, has risen from 13% in the 1960s to 36% in 2009-2010 in the adult population (Ogden, Ph.D. and Carroll, M.S.P.H.).
Research done by the NYU Langone Medical Center suggests that the posting of calories on some of the major fast food chains in Philadelphia has no affect on customers purchasing habits. This article talks about research done by the NYU School of Medicine before and after the calorie labeling laws went into effect in Philadelphia. The research shows that only 34% of customers even noticed the labels posted on menus at the local McDonalds, and only 49% of the customers noticed them at the local Burger King. They found no difference in calories purchased. This articles purpose is to inform the reader that calorie posting does not influence food choice. The International Journal of Obesity conducted a similar study. This journal discusses a study done of the food...

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