Consumerwatch: Calorie counts on menus
Published Monday, September 10, 2012 10:07AM CST
One lobbyist is hoping to help restaurant diners better track the nutritional value of their foods.
Bill Jeffrey of the Centre for Public Interest in Ottawa is lobbying the Ontario legislature to put nutritional information on menus at chain restaurants.
“That will provide a real incentive for restaurants to reformulate their food – to make them, to use lower calories, to use less oil, a little less sugar,” said Jeffrey.
The move would be a first in Canada, but it’s been place in some American states for years. Since 2008, both New York and California have required all chain restaurants to put calorie counts on their menus.
But at least one local restaurant owner thinks mandating calorie counts won’t necessarily translate to people making healthier decisions.
“Are there people really out there who don’t know that eating French fries every day will have a negative effect on your health? Please,” said Scot McTaggart, the owner of Fusion Grill.
But restaurant-goer Darcie Adams said she thinks the move will help her make better decisions.
“It would give you the real truth about what’s in there. Especially with processed foods because I think it can be deceiving,” said Adams.
Provincial officials said they are in favour of calories on menus and plans are in the works to collaborate with the restaurant industry for implementation.
In the meantime, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is hosting a series of conferences on menu labeling in five cities, including Winnipeg.
The Writing on The Wall symposium will be held Tuesday, Sept. 11 at Thunderbird House at 715 Main Street.