Friday, September 3, 2010

Myth: Calorie information at restaurants is hard to find.

Answer: True…but not for long!

The passage of the health care legislation law brings with it requirements for chain restaurants (more than 20 locations) to list calorie information for menu items and food that is displayed. Additional nutrition information will be available upon request. Vending machines also fall under these requirements. Originally, March 2011 was the deadline for the regulations to go into effect. The Food and Drug Administration has just sent out current information about the guidelines and they have also asked for feedback on the implementation deadline.

You can submit comments electronically. You may also find it interesting to read the comments that have been submitted, which you can do at the website below. Here are the steps you need to follow.
  1. Go to
  2. Enter one of the key words below (each key word starts with FDA) and then click on the “Search” button.
    • for the July 7 docket notice: FDA-2010-N-0298 (Comments due Sept. 7th)
    • for the August 24 Draft Guidance on Menu labeling: FDA-2010-D-0370 (Comments due Oct. 12th)
    • for the August 24 Guidance on Vending Machines: FDA-2010-D-0354
  3. Click the “View by Docket Folder” button. You can then open each comment listed. If you want to view the regulations, go to the right-hand side under the “Actions” column and click on “Open Docket Folder.”
  4. Click on the item in the first “Title” column. If you want to submit a comment, click on “Submit Comment” at the top of the page.
Complicated? Yes! But if you are interested in seeing what others think about these rules and you want to submit your own comments, this is your chance!

Visit the MissouriFamilies website for more information about nutrition and health.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist,, 573-882-1933

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