The National Restaurant Association issued a statement praising passage of a provision that will provide more nutrition information to consumers in chain restaurants across the country. The rule was a component of health care legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday and was signed into law by President Obama.
The agreement creates a national, uniform standard for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations that would provide customers with a wide range of nutrition information—mirroring the information available on packaged foods—at the point of purchase. Caloric information would be highlighted on menus, menuboards, and drive-thru boards.
“The passage of this provision is a win for consumers and restaurateurs,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. “We know the importance of providing consumers with the information they want and need, no matter in which part of the country they are dining. This legislation will replace a growing patchwork of varying state and local regulations with one consistent national standard that helps consumers make choices that are best for themselves and their families.”
Sweeney recognized several of the Senate and House members who were crucial in securing bipartisan support for the nutrition information language, including Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and House members Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
The National Restaurant Association co-led an industry-wide coalition that worked proactively with stakeholders to provide an approach that gives consumers one more way to live a healthy lifestyle. The nutrition information provision was publicly supported by industry groups, health and consumer advocacy groups, as well as a bipartisan group of House and Senate members. Enactment of the national standard will negate the need for states and localities from pursuing their own legislation or regulations going forward.