According to a press release,
The Coalition for Responsible Nutrition Information (CRNI) applauds the negotiated agreement announced today creating a uniform national nutrition standard to provide more information to consumers across the country when they dine out at restaurants. The negotiated agreement was developed by members of the U. S. Senate.
United States Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), supporters of the LEAN Act and the MEAL Act respectively, negotiated the agreement to establish one uniform national nutrition standard. This bi-partisan agreement is the first step to bring consistent nutrition information to consumers after years of previously unsuccessful attempts.
“Thanks to the dedicated effort of Senators Carper, Murkowski and Harkin more consumers across the country will have the opportunity to get consistent nutrition information when they dine out because a uniform national standard has been developed in a way that works for guests and restaurants,” said Joe Taylor, CRNI Co-Chair.
Under this agreement, restaurants with 20 or more locations will be required to disclose on a menu, menu board or drive thru board the number of calories per standard menu item, a statement concerning suggested daily caloric intake and a statement regarding the availability of additional nutrition information. That means a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona will provide the same nutrition information to consumers as a restaurant in Washington, DC.
In addition, consumers will have access to other nutrition information, including trans fats, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber and protein, a provision CRNI fought to include in the agreement.
“The agreement reached on a national uniform nutrition standard for chain food establishments is one step in the right direction for consumers,” said Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, dietitian, diabetes educator and author of Eat Out, Eat Right: The Guide to Healthier Restaurant Eating. “By putting calories front and center within the context of a suggested daily calorie intake and ensuring that other nutrition information is available, consumers will have the information in hand to make decisions to choose healthier foods when putting together meals and snacks.”
A small number of states and municipalities, including California, Philadelphia and New York City have taken steps to require restaurants to disclose calories on their menus, creating a patchwork quilt of regulations that is confusing to consumers and restaurants alike. The development of one uniform national standard is in the best interest of everyone because it will provide more consumers more nutrition information across the country.
The next step will be the consideration of the negotiated agreement by Senators Carper, Murkowski and Harkin by the full Senate and House of Representatives.
“Thanks to this negotiated agreement, we are one step closer to providing consumers consistent access to the same nutrition information in restaurants from coast to coast, whether eating out near their home or traveling,” said Beth Johnson, CRNI Co-Chair.
CRNI is a national alliance of concerned individuals, restaurants, store owners, chain food establishments, retailer associations, health experts and restaurant associations all committed to providing consumers with more detailed nutrition information that they want and have grown accustomed to on packaged foods and beverages. With America’s growing health and obesity problems, CRNI believes it is important that consumers have access to the detailed nutrition facts which will help them make healthy eating choices.
To join the Coalition for Responsible Nutrition Information or for more information, visit www.nationalnutritionstandards.com.