A new federal deadline of May 5, 2017 will require U.S. restaurant owners to post the calorie counts of the food they sell, as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (aka Obamacare), reports Metro.
The regulation aims to help consumers make more informed choices about their nutrition and intake, since Americans reportedly eat and drink approximately one-third of their calories away from home, reports Metro.
Food retail establishments with 20 or more locations will be required to list calories on menus and menu boards. The regulation will also apply to vending machine operators with 20 or more units.
The postponement from the initial December 1 deadline was contained in final guidance from the Food and Drug Administration released on May 5; Fox reports that we can thank lobbyists for Domino’s Pizza Inc., convenience stores and supermarkets for the delay; additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at the weakening rule in February.
"I'm hopeful that the date will stick," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, as reported by Fox.
Due to the rule's delayed start date, some early critics such as McDonald's have already been displaying caloric and nutritional information for years in compliance with rules set by California, New York City and other jurisdictions, reports Metro.
Although the new requirements might be viewed as unnecessary or burdensome to some chains, the upside to food retail establishments ensuring menu transparency is immense. Just think about the man who died after consuming a curry laced with peanuts — surely, he could have benefited from knowing more about what was in his food.