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Mandating nutrient menu labeling in restaurants: potential public health benefits

Mandating nutrient menu labeling in restaurants: potential public health benefits

Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society 109(10): 209-211

Many Americans have replaced home-cooked meals with fast food and restaurants meals. This contributes to increased incidences of overweight and obesity. Implementing policies that require restaurants to disclose nutrition information has the potential to improve nutrition knowledge and food behaviors. The purpose of this paper was to examine the potential health benefits of nutrient menu labeling in restaurants, the progress of this legislation and to provide results regarding the implementation of these policies. Data sources were obtained from a search of multiple databases including PubMed, Science Direct, Academic Search Premier, and Google Scholar. Study inclusion criteria were publication in the past ten years, obesity prevention, and utilization of nutrition labeling on menus in restaurants. The initial policies to provide consumers with nutrition information in restaurant settings began at the state levels in 2006. These laws demonstrated success, other states followed, and a national law was passed and is being implemented. Mandating nutrient menu disclosure has the potential to influence a large number of people; this legislation has the opportunity to impact Americans who dine at a fast food or chain restaurant. Given the growing obesity epidemic, continued research is necessary to gauge the effectiveness of this new law and its effects on the health status of the American people.

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Accession: 054251463

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PMID: 23540097

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