Restaurant Menu Labeling
A recent obesity prevention grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services enabled the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness to launch an initiative to give consumers more information on the number of calories in the food they eat at Louisville restaurants.
The U. S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed earlier this year, will require menu labeling of national chain restaurants with 20 or more locations. Our initiative was aimed at helping smaller restaurants accomplish the same thing so that consumers can make healthier choices.
Menu labeling places the caloric content of items on a restaurant's menu or menu board. It also requires restaurants to make readily available nutritional information of their products such as fats, carbohydrates and sodium content.
Menu labeling empowers consumers to make smarter choices when eating out. On average, Americans eat out at least four times a week. When people eat out, they tend to consume more calories and fat and fewer vegetables, fruit and fiber.
Research has shown that on average customers order 100 fewer calories when information is available on menu boards. 100 fewer calories a day equals 10 fewer pounds a year!
Support your local Healthy Hometown Restaurant!
Click here to see a list of participating Healthy Hometown Restaurants.
Local restaurant owners with fewer than 20 locations were able to join in the menu labeling effort and become Healthy Hometown Restaurants. They received technical assistance from chefs and dieticians who calculated calories in dishes and consulted with them on healthier recipes. Restaurant owners also used grant funds to cover the cost of printing new menus and menu boards and to pay for marketing to let consumers know that they were participating in this new program.
Restaurants who participated in menu labeling proudly display the Healthy Hometown Restaurant logo in their establishment and on all promotional materials.