Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rep. Jason Grill Advocates for Calorie Information on Restaurant Menus

Jefferson City – Representative Jason Grill, D-Parkville, this week filed House Bill 755 which would require food service establishments that are one of a group of 15 or more doing business nationally to display calorie information to consumers on menu boards. The caloric information will be required to be located alongside prices and similar in size. Rep. Grill indicated the bill is similar to code implemented in New York City, which was the first U.S. city to establish such a regulation to fight obesity and promote healthy eating habits. Other cities including Portland, Seattle, and Philadelphia have all passed similar legislation. So far, California is the only state to pass a similar measure, but legislation is moving in Indiana on this issue.

The bill will require that caloric information be available to consumers to encourage them to select lower-calorie meals, which will lead to a lower incidence of obesity. It is an additional step that will ensure customers have accurate nutritional information about the health content of food they consume. Studies have shown that customers of restaurants often underestimate the calorie content of meals.

“We know we must do everything we can to promote healthy lifestyles. That includes everything from providing citizens with adequate nutritional information to ensuring children engage in regular physical activity each week. The bill I have sponsored will give our state a solid start towards allowing access to important nutritional information to help our citizen’s health and well-being,” said Rep. Grill.