Group: Supermarket calorie labeling doable

Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. supermarkets are already well-equipped to comply with the calorie-labeling provisions included in the Affordable Care Act, a non-profit group says.

Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, surveyed the Top 50 U.S. food retailers and found of those that sell prepared foods -- 36 chains -- more than 80 percent already possess nutrition information for some of those foods.

Nearly 80 percent of the retailers also employ registered dietitians, either at the corporate level or in individual stores, Wootan said.

Although supermarkets and convenience stores would be covered under the regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration in April 2011, the supermarket and convenience-store industries have been lobbying aggressively not to be covered, Wootan said.

"If chain restaurants have to disclose calories, it would only be fair that supermarkets and convenience stores that sell fast-food or other prepared meals should disclose calories as well," Wootan said in a statement. "In fact, that's exactly what Congress intended. Besides, supermarkets are acting more and more like restaurants, by offering buffets, salad bars, delis and seating at tables."

Providing calorie labeling at restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores is important, because Americans get a third of their calories from outside of the home, Wootan said.

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