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Nationwide Menu Calorie Counts Face Delay

The 2010 health care law requires chain prepared food sellers to post calorie counts on their menus, but implementation isn't going to be easy.

Calorie counts are soon to be featured on menus, but the FDA is still sorting out what establishments will be required to do so.

After New York City’s soda ban was struck down by the New York State Supreme Court the day before it was set to go into effect, the Food and Drug Administration is admitting that the implementation of national menu labeling will be an uphill battle.

In accordance with a provision of the 2010 health care law, restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets would be required to post calorie counts. The legislation was modeled after laws already in effect in New York City that require chains to prominently post calories their menus.

The problem is that while chain restaurants are largely on board — with some already voluntarily posting calorie counts — supermarkets and convenience stores are complaining that labeling potentially thousands of products would be extremely expensive and drive up food prices.

It is up to the FDA to flesh out the details of the new menu regulations. The organization has said it expects to release national labeling rules this spring.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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