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Menu Labeling Law Finally Pushes Through; Calorie Counts In Restaurants Set For May 5

Update Date: Apr 29, 2017 08:48 AM EDT

The much-delayed new government regulation, which requires restaurants to provide calorie counts for the food items in their menu is set to take effect on May 5. Although, chances are, it may be delayed yet again.

The menu labeling law is hoping that people will pass up on eating unhealthy foods if people see the huge number of calories in it. Get to know more details about it, here.

New Law To Be Implemented Next Month

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had crafted the new rules, which will apply to restaurants that have 20 or more stores. The restaurants are required to have calorie counts that are printed on their menus or on menu boards at the counter.

The new law also requires that these restaurants are to give nutritional information they are serving to customers when asked. The information given is similar to what is on the nutritional label of a food product one usually buys - like calories from saturated fat, trans fat, total fat, sugars, total carbohydrates and sodium, WISHTV reported.

The law on providing calorie counts was passed in 2010, during the nutrition-minded Obama administration but it took four years for the ground rules to be written owing to the many considerations lobbied by interest groups representing grocery chains and convenience stores. The implementation was originally set by the end of 2015 but was pushed back to 2016 and then to May 2017, the Associated Press reported.

Groups Opposing Implementation Of New Law

The groups opposed to the calorie counts in the new menu labeling law believe it would be burdensome for them. They cited the reason that majority of their prepared food will have to be labeled but some of these foods are not made in house and may affect their suppliers if they insist on labeling them.

The grocery group also argued that they have limited prepared food offerings, unlike restaurants so they should be exempt from it. Pizza chains also believed that it should also not apply to them because people rarely go into their stores so a menu stating calorie counts will not make sense.

The interest groups are looking into ways to delay the menu labeling but supporters of the much-delayed law hope that Congress will take into consideration the need of millions of Americans to make informed choices when eating out.

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