FDA Proposes Calorie Labeling Law

After issuing and then recalling its earlier draft guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued two proposed regulations that will require calorie labeling for all items listed on menus and menu boards in restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations.

WASHINGTON — After issuing and then recalling its earlier draft guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued two proposed regulations that will require calorie labeling for all items listed on menus and menu boards in restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations.

"Americans now consume about one-third of their total calories on foods prepared outside the home," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg [2], M.D. "While consumers can find calorie and other nutrition information on most packaged foods, it's not generally available in restaurants or similar retail establishments. This proposal is aimed at giving consumers consistent and easy-to-understand nutrition information."

The agency is also proposing that the following statement on daily caloric intake should be required on menus and menu boards, to help consumers understand the calorie information in context: "A 2,000 calorie diet is used as the basis for general nutrition advice; however, individual calorie needs may vary."

Interested parties can comment on these proposed regulations by visiting www.regulations.gov1 [3].