UK government pushes for voluntary menu labeling

Sept. 26, 2010

Europe may chastise Americans for their wealth of fast food options, but it is also taking a cue from menu labeling laws soon to be enacted in the States. The United Kingdom Health Secretary is pushing for calorie-oriented menu labeling, according to the United Kingdom Press Association.

From the story:

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley urged businesses to set a target date by which they will set out the nutritional value of products to their customers.


He suggested the voluntary move as he introduced plans for a network of businesses, health charities and public health experts to help people live "longer, healthier lives". The group will address the issue of calorie labelling as part of its work.

There are differences between the two nations’ measures, however; the U.K. labeling shift is voluntary. The U.S. labeling had been passed into law via the Health Care Reform bill, and was set to go into effect in March 2011. However, the FDA has recently extended the time for compliance indefinitely.

Burger King and Pizza Hut are among the first companies to introduce calorie labeling overseas. Some of these companies also rolled out portion decreases and recipe makeovers for the occasion. 

For example, Pizza Hut reduced the salt in its pizzas by 5 percent, and coffee outlet Costa now offers lower fat sandwiches and muffins.

Topics: Health & Nutrition , Menu Boards , Trends / Statistics

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