The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a requirement that would force restaurants to disclose nutritional information about their meals on menus. The government and anti-obesity advocates claim that because more than one-third of all meals are consumed in restaurants, the foodservice industry needs to help Americans eat healthier.

The bill, Menu Education and Labeling, was proposed by Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-Conn.) and would require chain restaurants to label calories, fat and sodium content in the foods. This bill applies to chains with 20 or more outlets, affecting restaurants run by large groups such as Yum Brands, who run Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

Restaurants were exempted from a 1994 requirement for nutritional labeling on packaged foods, and many believe that such a requirement on restaurants is probably unrealistic and unenforceable. It is estimated that there are 800,000 distribution points in the foodservice industry.

Drovers