S.F. Menu Labeling Proposal Could Help Reduce Obesity
"San Francisco is poised to be a leader in the state" if it passes an ordinance requiring some chain restaurants to post certain nutritional information about food items on their menus, Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, and Patricia Wakimoto, chair of the Wellness Team for the California Division of the American Cancer Society, write in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece.
The San Francisco Rules Committee will vote on the ordinance Thursday. If approved, chain restaurants with more than 14 locations in the state would be required to post certain content on their menus, including:
- Carbohydrates; and
- Saturated fat content.
"Critics argue that the mandate is unnecessary and goes too far," Goldstein and Wakimoto write. They add, however, that "more than half of California adults are overweight or obese," as well as one in four California children.
"While menu labeling alone will not solve the problem of obesity, it can play a vital role in a multipronged effort to combat the epidemic," according to Goldstein and Wakimoto. They add, "Whether [residents] choose to use" the nutritional information "is up to them -- but at least they have a choice" (Goldstein/Wakimoto, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.