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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Restaurant Meals a Bit Healthier After Menu Law

But does it make a difference?
Chain restaurants in the Seattle area seem to have made small changes for the better since a 2009 law forced them to put nutrition information on their menus, a new study finds.

Eighteen months after the law went into effect in King County, Washington, calorie counts were a bit lower, the study found. Sit-down chain restaurants did better than fast-food joints: their entrees were an average of 73 calories lighter, versus a small, 19-calorie reduction at fast-food places.

There were also some improvements in sodium and saturated fat content.

Whether the changes happened because of the label law is not clear. "We can't say the menu labeling was the cause, because we could only look at restaurants in our jurisdiction," said lead researcher Dr. Barbara Bruemmer, of the University of Washington in Seattle.

It's possible that there's been an overall trend for chain restaurants to make their offerings a bit healthier, Dr. Bruemmer noted in an interview.
Premature back patting.


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