Menu Labelling Taking Shape in the U.S, what about Ontario?

TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - On Friday, April 1st the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced proposed rules to implement menu labelling across the United States.

This includes the requirement of chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments to provide calorie counts for standard menu items, including self-service food and food on display.  Ontario's doctors have been calling for legislation requiring calorie contents to be posted on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants and in school cafeterias. Recent polling conducted on behalf of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) shows that 85 percent of Ontarians want the government to tackle childhood obesity.

"Doctors know that childhood obesity is a growing epidemic across the province," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the OMA. "By having access to nutritional information at fast food restaurants, parents in the United States will soon be able to make healthier choices for their children. The same information should be available to Ontario families."

Approximately 26 percent of children in Ontario are overweight or obese, and 75 per cent of those children will become obese adults. It is estimated that the health impacts of being overweight or obese costs the Ontario health system approximately $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.

Ontario's doctors have released a policy platform titled "Better care. Healthier patients.  A stronger Ontario." Ontario's doctors are urging provincial parties to adopt any of the following recommendations into their respective platforms for the upcoming provincial election. Specifically, Ontario's doctors are calling for:

  • Legislation that would require calorie contents be listed adjacent to the items on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants and school cafeterias;
  • An education campaign to help inform Ontarians about the impact of caloric intake on weight and obesity;
  • The development of a childhood obesity strategy complete with targets and indicators; and
  • Making physical activity/education mandatory throughout high school.

"We are raising a generation of children that may not outlive their parents. This should be enough incentive for political parties, doctors and other health care professionals to work together and take action to fight this growing problem." said Dr. MacLeod.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information:

OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862

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Ontario Medical Association

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