Calories on the menuConsumers will soon be able to clearly know the nutrition content of food at chain restaurants and other food retailers, thanks to a new menu labeling rule from the Food and Drug Administration. The rule, originally proposed in 2011, fulfills a requirement of the Affordable Care Act.

The American Public Health Association has voiced its strong support for the rule, which covers restaurant chains and similar retail food establishments including supermarkets, convenience stores and movie theaters with 20 or more locations. These establishments will have to clearly and conspicuously display meaningful calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards, along with statements about the availability of additional nutrient information and suggested daily caloric intake.

“By providing the required nutritional information, consumers will have the information they need to make healthier, more educated decisions about their food choices when eating outside the home,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, in a news release. “These regulations are an achievement for public health, and are a positive step toward fighting the high chronic disease rates that plague our nation.”

The final rule, “Food Labeling: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments,” is available in the Federal Register. To find out more about this issue and others that the Association is weighing in on at the federal level, and ways that you can advocate for public health, visit APHA’s advocacy page.