CDC: Mandated Nutrition Labels on Restaurant Menus Do Not Improve Nutritional Content
Recommends more government regulations and increased government and media pressure anyway.
1:14 PM, Jun 21, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday published the results of a study on the effects of nutrition labeling on fast-food menus from 2005 to 2011. Researchers were interested in the impact of locally instituted regulations by various states and municipalities, including New York City, on the overall "healthfulness" of menu offerings. The report concluded that mandated menu labeling at fast food chains did not improve nutritional content. While there was a 50 percent increase in “healthier” options (from 13 percent to 20 percent of all menu selections), overall menu nutrition was unchanged. From the report [emphasis added]:
In some of the five chains studied, some menu selections even moved in a decidedly unhealthy direction, thus negating the impact of the increased number of "healthy" choices:
Despite the disappointing results, however, the researchers suggest that, in addition to further study, the response to these findings should be more government regulations and increased government and media pressure:
Researchers were particularly concerned with the lack of healthy selections for children, since when using the stricter "nutritional criteria to define healthier options," only one of the nine fast food chains in the study even had any qualifying items.
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