Health Care Law Mandates Calorie Labeling

The impossibly impenetrable health care bill (click here for a PDF) that just passed the House has one little piece of good news buried in it: national calorie labeling.

The provision covers chains with 20 or more outlets throughout the country and is supposed to go into effect in a year or so. It also covers vending machines! These are great steps. Calorie labeling has two effects: it educates anyone who is interested enough to look, and it encourages chain restaurants to offer lower-calorie options.

Cheers to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has lobbied for years to get this into law.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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