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Parent Power! Moms and children with fists raised!

Karen Showalter's picture

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There's a lot going on this year, and we can't let our guard down around demanding healthy communities for our kids.

Because {{ user.first_name|default:"Friend" }}: guess what? They're launching yet *another* attack on menu labeling. It's true. And your voice is needed to speak out *today*, before a U.S. House vote as early as this week.

Let's be honest: An attack on menu labeling is an attack on information. It's an attack on giving consumers the information they need to make their own choices. That's exactly and entirely what's at stake.

Can you add your name to take urgent action in support of menu labeling?

Menu labeling regulations cover all restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets, movie theaters and similar establishments with over 20 locations, and require listing nutritional information including calories, fat, sugar and sodium. This is good news right? Families eat out almost twice as often as they did in the 1970s, and kids consume about 1/4 of their daily calories at fast-food and other restaurants. [1]

Final guidance was issued last year, and you'll remember in 2017 we spoke out about attempts to delay full implementation of menu labeling. The reality is that the nation’s top 50 restaurant chains already provide calorie information (either online or in the restaurant), in addition to many of the top supermarket and convenience store chains. [2] So labeling is effectively already in place. 

And menu labeling works!

  • Studies show that providing nutrition information in restaurants can help people make lower calorie choices, and encourage restaurants to introduce lower-calorie items or change recipes to cut calories on current items. [3]
  • In New York City, which has already implemented menu labeling, 82% of consumers reported that it has had an impact on what they've ordered. [4] 

Like what you're hearing? You're not alone! Over 80% of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support menu labeling, according to a new January 2018 poll released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Further, over 80% think chain supermarkets, convenience stores, and pizza (like Domino’s) should be held to the same standard for labeling calories as chain restaurants. [5]

In spite of all of this good news, menu labeling is under attack! Can you believe it?

Join us to speak out!

Here's what's going on:

The U.S. House of Representatives could be voting *this week* on HR 772 – legislation which would disrupt many of the good things about menu labeling, in the name of providing “increased flexibility” for industry. Here's why HR 772 is such bad news:

  • It allows food establishments to set arbitrary serving sizes, and not list the total number of servings (i.e. it could be 1350 calories for a piece of cake, or the whole cake, depending on how the establishment defines a serving).
  • It exempts food establishments from providing calorie information inside their restaurant if a majority of customers order online. So even if 49% of orders are placed from in-store menus or menu boards, information would not need to be displayed. Online menus are unlikely to help a customer ordering in the store.
  • It denies customers calorie information where they need it—at the point of decision making. At supermarkets and convenience stores, calorie information at the cash register is not as helpful as having it at the point where people serve themselves.

HR 772 is also called the "Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act". But make no mistake: there's nothing common sense about it. HR 772 lets a few loud voices from the food industry - with a lot of money to make off of families - co-opt a tool that helps consumers and families.

We need you to speak out today! Click here to sign a letter that will go directly to your Member of Congress.

Guessing games are fun, but not when it comes to knowing what's in the food we give our kids.

Thank you for being a strong voice for healthy communities!

[1] https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-choices-health/food-consumption-demand/food-away-from-home.aspx#.UuATMRAo7ct

[2] https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/menu-labeling-chart_0.pdf

[3] https://cspinet.org/new/pdf/yale_rudd_ctr_menu_labeling_grouped_studies.pdf

[4] https://cspinet.org/resource/new-york-city-rave-reviews-menu-labeling

[5] http://t.congressweb.com/a/?DCQLLTYACACKCFT


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org

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