Federal Nutrition Regulations

There is a growing movement in the federal government to require restaurants, well at least the larger restaurant chains, to provide nutrition on their menu items. The real questions are what will really be the end-result of these regulations and how much of an impact it will have on the restaurant industry and how will these regulations really benefit the consumer.

For an easy read, (at least easy compared to other government documents) check out the federal publication: Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menus published November 19, 2012. This provides the basic framework for what the government believes are issues dictating the possible need for federal regulations regarding restaurant nutrition disclosure and some of the "next steps" for the future. The document covers some of these concepts:

1. Obesity rates in the United States
2. Specific state regulations
3. The FDA's role established in 2011
4. What exactly may be covered by regulations
5. What would be considered exempt
6. Cost - Benefits

The paper also defines Restaurant Food as:

"Food that is served in restaurants or other establishments in which food is 
served for immediate human consumption, that is, to be consumed either 
on the premises where the food is purchased or while walking away, or 
that is sold for sale or use in such establishment."

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