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Calorie listings at your favorite drive-through?
Americans can soon expect to see more restaurants posting nutrition information.
Since New York City's menu law went into effect in July 2008, California and Massachusetts have passed similar bills. Wisconsin has one in the pipeline and a federal version appears in the new health-care law.
"Providing accurate information to help people choose healthier diets is a small but constructive step that government leaders are likely to try out before more controversial strategies such as taxes or bans on particular foods and beverages," says Dr. Tom Oliver, of the UW Population Health Institute.
Such policies are driven by ballooning obesity rates--26.6 percent of Americans were obese in 2008, up from 15.9 percent in 1995. They're also a response to the fact that the percentage of meals eaten in restaurants has nearly doubled since 1978.
"Doing a better job at preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease is good fiscal policy as well," says Oliver. "We need to keep people healthier to slow the growth of health care costs to individuals, employers and government programs." Contact: Susan
Source: University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics