Ref: St. Petersburg Nutritionist

Aaaahhh…. May 5, 2017 was going to be a great day.

It was that day that restaurants with over 20 locations nationwide were required to put calorie counts on their point of purchase menus. The current administration and FDA leadership have delayed this labeling until 2018 and may ax it completely for some food service establishments. You can thank the supermarket and pizza lobbies for this.

We know that menu labeling works. A recent study released by Drexel University School of Public Health concluded that 80% of consumers see menu nutrition labeling and 26% use it to make decisions. When those 26% of consumers used the menu information they purchased 400 fewer calories, 370 mg less sodium and 10 grams less saturated fat. That’s huge especially in the sodium category.

And since Americans consume over 1/3 of their calories prepared away from home, this change would have helped a lot of people make better choices. Even the National Restaurant Association supports it.

But back to that pizza lobby. I swear there is such a thing and its mission is to “create community around pizza.” That aside, it has been a major player in the delay. I did find complete nutritional information online for Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. It took some effort and downloading. Not optimal for the consumer who is making a quick decision about dinner but it’s a start. (Last year I tried to find the ingredients in Papa John’s Pizza and could not. I was specifically looking for sugar and guess what? It’s A LOT. It’s the second ingredient behind flour.)

I pose a question: Why do food manufactures want a delay? You already know the answer but here’s proof. This is taken directly from the FDA’s website:

“This extension allows for further consideration of what opportunities there may be to reduce costs and enhance the flexibility of these requirements beyond those reflected in the final rule.”

Sixty percent of Americans want nutrition menu labeling at point of purchase. So why can’t we get that?

It’s not because the pizza lobby wants to create a “community around pizza.”

It’s greed.