Calo­ries on menus and menu boards de­layed un­til 2016

Cape Breton Post - - TV HIGHLIGHTS/LIFESTYLES - BY MARY CLARE JALONICK WASHINGTON

Din­ers will have to wait un­til the end of 2016 to find calo­rie la­bels on all chain res­tau­rant menus.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion said Thurs­day that restau­rants and other es­tab­lish­ments will now have un­til De­cem­ber 1, 2016, to com­ply with fed­eral menu la­bel­ing rules - one year be­yond the orig­i­nal dead­line.

FDA says it's ex­tend­ing the dead­line af­ter restau­rants and other re­tail­ers said they needed more time to put the rules in place. The agency said those busi­nesses are in the process of train­ing work­ers, in­stalling menus and menu boards and de­vel­op­ing soft­ware for more ef­fi­cient and spe­cific calo­rie la­bel dis­plays.

The rules will re­quire restau­rants and other es­tab­lish­ments that sell pre­pared foods and have 20 or more lo­ca­tions to post the calo­rie con­tent of food “clearly and con­spic­u­ously” on their menus, menu boards and dis­plays. That in­cludes pre­pared foods at gro­cery and con­ve­nience stores and in movie the- atres, among other lo­ca­tions.

The menus and dis­plays will tell din­ers that a 2,000-calo­rie diet is used as the ba­sis for daily nutri­tion, not­ing that in­di­vid­ual calo­rie needs may vary. Ad­di­tional nu­tri­tional in­for­ma­tion be­yond calo­ries, in­clud­ing sodium, fat and sugar must be avail­able upon re­quest.

The menu la­bels were re­quired by Congress as part of the health over­haul in 2010. The FDA has said they are just one way to com­bat obe­sity, since Amer­i­cans eat and drink about one-third of their calo­ries away from home.

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