Strong New Menu Labeling Requirements Can Help People Make Informed Choices, Reduce Cancer Risk

November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- November 25, 2014 -- Following is a statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), on the final menu labeling and vending machine labeling rules issued today by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

In an age when at least one-third of all consumer food spending is on food prepared away from home, consumers will now have more nutrition information than ever at their fingertips when they purchase food from many of the nation's chain restaurants, vending machines, convenience stores and supermarket cafes.

We are pleased that the FDA is requiring a variety of establishments to display calorie information for their ready-to-eat foods and beverages. Regardless of where they are purchased, calories count. In addition to restaurants and convenience stores, individuals can now make informed choices when they visit many of the nation's amusement parks and movie theaters, venues that often offer very calorie-laden foods. Further, calorie information will now be available when Americans purchase snacks and drinks from most vending machines. It is also critically important that the FDA rule requires menu labeling for certain alcoholic beverages listed on menus, considering that alcohol is the fifth leading source of calories in American adult diets.

Between one-fourth and one-third of all cancers are caused by poor nutrition, physical inactivity and excess weight. ACS CAN strongly supports provisions of the Affordable Care Act providing consumers with information that will support their making healthy food and beverage choices so they can help reduce their cancer risk. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly 60 percent of adults use calorie information on menus to decide what to order. Yet, evidence shows certain consumers are more likely than others to use menu labeling, including women, overweight and obese individuals and those in higher-income communities. That's why it is also critically important that the FDA support the roll-out of these menu labeling requirements with a coordinated, comprehensive education campaign to give tips to consumers on how to use the information to make healthier menu selections.

The FDA recently proposed regulations to update the nutrition facts label and serving sizes for packaged foods, beverages and supplements. When finalized, these regulations together will provide consumers with clear and consistent information about the nutritional quality of potential food and beverage options, whether they purchase packaged foods in a supermarket to prepare and eat at home or order food at a restaurant.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitξ


Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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