Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eating the Health Care Overhaul Bill

Reading up on some of my favorite blogs, and noticed todays post on Marion Nestle's Food Politics about the new menu labeling requirements for chain restaurants (and chain vending machines) which was part of the recently passed Health Reform Overhaul bill. 

For "Food that is a standard menu item that is offered for sale in a restaurant or similar food establishment that is part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name." a restaurant chain must disclose "a nutrient content disclosure statement adjacent to the name of the standard menu item, so as to be clearly associated with the standard menu item, on the menu listing the item for sale, the number of calories contained in the standard menu item, as usually prepared and offered for sale; and a succinct statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake..."

Which makes sense, because isn't health directly linked to what we eat?  So if we want to be pro-health and make the smallest outlays on medical care, wouldn't it make sense to provide information so we can all make educated choices on what we put into our mouths?  That's not to say I agree with everything Ms. Nestle posted, as in I think when someone really wants that triple-decker-bacon-cheese-burger at the local drive-thru they're going to order it whether or not it has "KILLS YOU" written across the description.

Y'know, in reading it over it all seems a little iffy - as in regulations and food standards are still being worked out and this doesn't begin taking place for a year.  Wonder if they'll even fund the committee that will oversee all of this?  I bet Ms. Nestle and I could agree, this health and obesity issue would all be so much more effectively handled if they had just mandated salad bars in every school cafeteria.

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