Nutrition info by food purveyors

Re: Docket No.FDA-2011-F-0172: Food Labeling, Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Food Establishments; Extension of Compliance Date

To the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,

PCC Markets is the largest consumer-owned grocer in the United States, with 56,000 member owners, 10 Seattle-area stores, and more than $277 million in annual sales. Our commitment to honest and transparent labeling is fundamental to our mission and values and we oppose any further delay or weakening of the menu labeling rules, and urge the FDA to revoke the one-year delay for compliance.

Americans are eating more meals outside of the home than ever before, and when Americans choose foods prepared outside of the home, these food choices are less healthy – containing more saturated fat and sodium, and fewer vitamins, minerals, and fiber (1, 2). It’s not surprising that “frequent consumption of away-from-home foods contributes to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer” (3).

To help consumers make more informed food purchasing decisions, it is essential that nutrition information be available in restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, movie theaters, and other food establishments. Increased transparency will empower consumers to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.

Americans expect nutrition information to be available when selecting foods at the supermarket. At PCC, we frequently hear from shoppers that “I actually eat half or more of my meals in your deli” and without calorie and nutrition information, these shoppers are unable to make informed decisions about what to eat to support their health.

Americans want calorie labeling, and have been waiting long enough for this information, ever since the FDA announced plans to require menu labeling 8 years ago. Given the high rates of obesity and obesity-related illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, the FDA should act quickly to move forward with implementing the menu labeling regulations as finalized.

Sincerely,
Nick Rose, MS
PCC Nutrition Educator

References:

  1. Rebecca A. Seguin, et al. Consumption Frequency of Foods Away from Home Linked with Higher Body Mass Index and Lower Fruit and Vegetable Intake among Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Environ Public Health. 2016.
  2. Biing-Hwan Lin and Joanne Guthrie. Nutritional Quality of Food Prepared at Home and Away From Home, 1977-2008. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-105) 24 pp, December 2012.
  3. Cohen DA and Bhatia R. Nutrition Standards for Away-from-home Foods in the United States. Obes Rev. 2012 Jul; 13(7): 618–629.

Related Reading

Updating American dietary guidelines

Comments on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee's proposed guidelines.

FDA's gluten free food labeling proposal

Comments to the FDA on proposed guideline for gluten free labeling

Improving school food choices in vending machines

Thank you to Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, re: support of good efforts to improve school food choices.