KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

FDA Releases Rules For Restaurants To Provide Calorie Information

The New York Times: Calorie-Counting Rule To Leave Out Movie Theaters
The federal government on Friday released proposed rules requiring chain restaurants and other businesses that serve food to post calorie counts on menus and menu boards. But after objections from theater chains, the rules give a pass to those box-office snacks - even though a large popcorn and soda can contain as many calories as a typical person needs in a day. The new disclosure rules also exempt alcoholic beverages served in restaurants, including beer, wine and high-calorie mixed drinks like margaritas and daiquiris (Neuman, 4/1).

The Washington Post: FDA Proposal Would Require Chain Restaurants To Display Calorie Information
Chain restaurants, convenience stores, concession stands and vending machines would soon have to display calorie information for the food products they sell under rules proposed Friday by the Food and Drug Administration. "We do see this as an important step in providing consumers with information they can use in choosing healthy diets and fighting obesity," Michael R. Taylor, deputy FDA commissioner for foods, said in describing the nation's first federal menu-labeling law. The rules, required by Congress in a little-noticed provision of the health-care reform law passed last year, are subject to a public comment period before they are finalized and implemented in 2012, Taylor said (Layton, 4/1).

The Wall Street Journal: Calorie Rules Make Diets A Federal Affair
Fans of convenience store hot dogs will get to read how many calories are in a dog. But beer drinkers won't have to deal with the guilt. The Obama administration Friday issued proposed rules that vendors must follow to inform customers about calorie counts of a range of foods-from a Big Mac to a brownie. Many food sellers are exempt, and for now the new regulations, which are designed to prod consumers to make healthier eating choices, exempt booze. The rules, expected to take effect in 2012, provide details on how eateries with 20 outlets or more must comply with a new law to post the calorie counts of foods and drinks on menu boards. Vending-machine chains also have to post calorie counts (Adamy, 4/2).

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