Calorie disclosure rule takes effect for USA food sellers

Showing total calories in food can make consumers more conscious of their health

However, the delays have been due to some food lobby groups that tried to fight the bill, arguing that they should only have to post the calorie count of a recommended serving size, not what someone will actually eat.

But the Food and Drug Administration announced previous year it would press ahead with the regulation, which requires chains with 20 or more locations as well as grocery stores and convenience chains to post calorie counts for standard menu items. It was finalized in 2014 but delayed by Congress three separate times amid the debate over the future of Obamacare.

The biggest impacts are expected "to have little to do with the one-off choices we make at the ordering counter: they could push food companies and restaurants to reformulate products so that they aren't so hideously high in calories, and shift consumer attitudes about nutrition", according to Vox.

The US Food and Drug Administration last year extended the date for national compliance by a year.

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But Gottlieb emphasized that the FDA has 'worked hard to make sure this new rule can be implemented in a way where the information will be maximally beneficial to consumers and the new requirements will be minimally burdensome to restaurants and retail establishments'.

The FDA said it will be working with restaurants over the next year to help change their menus. The calories will be shown on a sign or on electronic or digital displays near the item or selection button. "Consumers also will have an easy to use and consistent baseline for the nutrition information that they need to better manage their health".

The National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President Cicely Simpson said, "By setting a clear standard, this rule provides the necessary guidance and expectations for America's restaurants to follow in order to continue delivering a high-quality experience and customer service to everyone who walks through our doors, as well as the transparency our customers demand".

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