Health groups rip FDA for delaying calorie listings on food menus

Health groups rip FDA for delaying calorie listings on food menus
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The Trump administration is coming under fire from health groups for delaying an ObamaCare rule for restaurants.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu-labeling requirements stem from a provision of former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaMounting nationwide immigration enforcement costs 20 attorneys general urge DeVos to keep college sexual assault protections RNC slams CNN's Cillizza over Trump-Putin analysis MORE’s signature healthcare law requiring restaurants to list the number of calories in the foods they serve.

The calorie-counting rule would also apply to prepared foods sold at grocery stories, gas stations, movie theaters and other venues. It was scheduled to go into effect Friday, but the Trump administration this week delayed the rule for another year

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“Today is the day Americans were assured they would have this information available to them at the wide array of retail food establishments,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.

“It is unfathomable why we must wait even longer for this simple nutrition information,” she added.

“We are extremely disappointed in FDA’s decision to push back — yet again — the deadline for food establishments to provide essential nutrition information their customers want and deserve regarding menu items.”

This isn’t the first time the menu-labeling rule has been delayed. It was also pushed back on multiple occasions during the Obama administration, sometimes in response to bipartisan efforts in Congress.

But health groups say the latest delay could take a toll on public health.

“Twenty percent of all cancers are tied to poor nutrition, physical inactivity and excess weight,” said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “It is important for consumers to have access to calorie and other nutritional information to help them make informed choices about the foods they eat.”

The American Heart Association called for the FDA to place the “power of decision-making in consumers’ hands” so they can make “healthier choices when eating out.”

“Rather than delaying these requirements, the FDA should focus on putting the power of decision making in consumers’ hands,” Brown said.

“Displaying calorie counts and providing nutrition information helps Americans make healthier choices when eating out,” she added. “Knowing these details in advance of placing an order allows consumers to make side-by-side comparisons and select more nutritious foods off the menu.”