Sunday, February 7, 2010

Philly proves it’s a public health leader with menu-labeling policy

In early February, Philadelphia’s menu-labeling law went into effect, requiring chain restaurants to list caloric content of all food items on the menu boards.  Starting April 1, in addition to calories, both chain and sit-down restaurants will have to list saturated fats, trans fats, sodium and carbohydrates.

The menu-labeling law is a step in the right direction for the city’s growing obesity problem.  They City Council recognized the connection between listing extensive nutrition information and the city’s high obesity-related chronic disease rates.  About 13 percent of residents are diabetic and 36 percent have high blood pressure- both of which are above national rates and linked to diet and exercise.  Listing information about sodium and fat content, will help people at-risk for obesity-related chronic diseases choose healthier options when dining away from home.

Philly is the fourth city to implement menu-labeling legislation, making it a true leader in public health policy and the fight against obesity.