nutrition labeling workplace wellness

Menu Nutrition Labeling Gains Support

We have noted the U.S. Food & Drug Administration implementation of menu nutrition labeling standards and the benefits of increased information around the food we eat. What’s the potential impact for chronic disease management?

The new standards and accompanying research can help well-run workplace programs that make healthy eating part of their overall approach. With members who may feel they have heard it all before, the news may present the chance to newly engage and educate members.

For additional data, we also pointed out the 2018 RAND Corporation study titled “Examining Consumer Responses to Calorie Information on Restaurant Menus in a Discrete Choice Experiment.” The study “looked at how the provision of calorie information on restaurant menus affects consumers. To gain insight on the consumer perspective, we designed an online experiment in which participants chose items from the menus of nine different restaurant settings, ranging from fast-food outlets to movie theaters. The calorie labels on those menus followed the requirements described in the FDA rule, and the survey also collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes toward food, and use of nutrition and calorie labels.”

One key chronic disease that wellness workplace programs can help employees manage: Diabetes. And the news was heralded by the American Diabetes Association.

“On behalf of more than 114 million Americans living with and at risk for diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) celebrates the recent implementation of the national menu labeling policy by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The national menu labeling policy requires consumers be informed about the calorie count of all menu items and, upon request, access to more detailed nutrition information such as carbohydrate and sugar content. ADA has been an ardent supporter of providing calorieinformation for standard menu items and carbohydrate and sugar content upon request so consumers can make healthy food choices.”

“Having access to supplementary nutrition information, primarily the grams of carbohydrate in a meal or prepared food, is essential for people who have diabetes,” said ADA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH. “For weight and blood glucose management, as well as determining insulin dosage, it is vital for people living with or at risk for diabetes to keep careful track of the carbohydrates, including sugar, they consume. We are thrilled that this critical information will now be more widely available.”