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Health Care Counts Calories

posted on March 26, 2010

When the dust finally settled in the House Chamber Sunday night, the health care bill passed on a vote of 219-to-212, with no Republicans voting in favor of the measure.

Polls reveal the public also is split just about right down the middle on the landmark legislation. So the President is expected to continue "selling" the health care reforms for the foreseeable future, hoping to boost prospects of some Democrats who face tough re-election battles in November.

Consumers should begin seeing some effects of the legislation by the end of September including a new requirement for insurers to keep young adults as beneficiaries on their parents' health insurance plans until age 26.

Other changes will be implemented more slowly including a lesser-known provision requiring restaurant chains to display caloric content of their food.

Health Care Counts Calories

One provision of the sweeping health care reform bill, which became law on Tuesday, is a requirement that all restaurant chains with 20 or more locations inform customers of the number of calories contained in each menu item. Caloric information will be posted alongside each item on the main and drive-through menu boards as well as on individual menus.

On Monday, the National Restaurant Association expressed concerns regarding the Health Care Bill. Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the organization, issued this statement, "On behalf of the association representing the nation's second largest private sector employer… we are extremely concerned that the health care bill that passed today will impose tremendous burdens on America's restaurants and hurt our industry's ability to create and sustain jobs."

The National Restaurant Association represents 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.7 million employees.

While the association voiced concerns about the health care bill, it supported the provision requiring restaurants to provide more nutritional information to diners. According to Sweeney, the legislation will create a national standard that will replace the patchwork of local and state regulations. Under the new law, the Food and Drug Administration will create new standards for menu labeling by 2011.


Tags: food health care health care reform news nutrition