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Rationale and Evidence for Menu-Labeling Legislation

      Abstract

      Menu-labeling legislation is a proposed public health intervention for poor diet and obesity that requires chain restaurants to provide nutrition information on menus and menu boards. The restaurant industry has strongly opposed menu-labeling legislation. Using scientific evidence, this paper counters industry arguments against menu labeling by demonstrating that consumers want chain restaurant nutrition information to be disclosed; the current methods of providing nutrition information are inadequate; the expense of providing nutrition information is minimal; the government has the legal right to mandate disclosure of information; consumers have the right to know nutrition information; a lack of information reduces the efficiency of a market economy; and menu labeling has the potential to make a positive public health impact.
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