United States President Donald Trump has found agreement with on part of the Obama health care plan as he is allowing a mandate of the plan that requires restaurant chains to post calorie information for menu items to go into effect.
The rule is part of the Affordable Health Care Act signed into law by then President Barack Obama in 2010 and will make it mandatory calorie information to be listed in clear site on all menus and menu boards. Additionally, restaurants will also have to provide information about regarding elements of nutrition such as sodium and fat content.
The law, which is intended to provide Americans with the needed information to make healthier food choices, will apply to chain restaurants that operate more than 20 stores.
The law will not only pertain to fast-food restaurants and other sit-down eateries but will also be extended to grocery stores, convenience stores, pizza delivery orders, and movie theater locations. The new requirements to provide calorie information to customers will also apply to vending machines.
Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner for the food and drug administration, says that this move to provide extensive nutritional information on menus will have a positive effect on public health. He recounts studies that have proven the average customer orders up to 50 calories a day less when provided with this information as the basis for his optimism.
While not a large amount of calories when considered in a one-time sense, the effect over a long period of time can be substantial, Gottlieb explains.
The FDA took its time to implement the new law so that the food industry would have the necessary time needed to become compliant with requirements.
The National Restaraunt Association along with consumer advocates are in agreement with the provisions of the law as they feel it is much more feasible for food service companies to adhere to one uniform law than it would be to cater to a collection of ordinances from individual cities and states.
The National Association of Convenience Stores are not as optimistic about the new regulations however and feel that it may be difficult for many convenience stores to comply with the new regulations. A spokesman for NACS says that its retailers are hoping that the FDA will provide some flexibility in order to facilitate their compliance.
Congressional conservatives have also spoken in opposition to the provision and the House passed a measure earlier in the present session that would modify the contents of the provision. The Senate has not yet provided an action on the legislation.