Nutrition Labeling Standards

Tucked into the health insurance reform bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives was a provision labeled “NUTRITION LABELING OF STANDARD MENU ITEMS AT CHAIN RESTAURANTS AND OF ARTICLES OF FOOD SOLD FROM VENDING MACHINES.” A copy of the relevant portion of the bill is attached.

This bill is similar to an industry-sponsored proposal from 2008, which was referred to as the “Labeling Education and Nutrition Act of 2008” (LEAN Act), and which was meant to provide a national nutrition labeling standard for foodservice establishments with 20 or more locations. See the NRA’s website. The draft legislation also similar to language passed in localities – the most recent of which I believe was Montgomery County, Md. earlier in November – and is designed to pre-empt the profusion of inconsistently written and enforced state and local legislation.

It will be interesting to see where this title within the bill goes as it makes its way through the Senate, but we wanted to let you know in case you hadn’t seen this already.