Increasingly, restaurant chains are being forced to tell customers how fattening their food is. On July 1st, California became the latest state to impose calorie labeling.
Now a federal bill with wide support in Congress would make chains with 20 or more outlets post calories on menus nationwide.
Rather than wait to be forced into caloric transparency, Yum! Brands is embracing it. The Louisville company, owner of KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers and A&W, has pledged to post calorie counts at its 16,501 franchised and licensed U.S. outlets to do the same.
Yum is also helping to lead a lobbying effort in Washington to extend any federal law to stand-alone restaurants to level the playing field. "Consumers should be able to make informed purchase decisions about the food they eat," says Yum! CEO David C. Novak.
Health advocates say fast food chains would rather respond to growing obesity rates by offering healthier food than advertising calorie counts. Yum! is doing both.
Source: BUSINESSWEEK, August 17, 2009
Did You Know?
During the 1980s, the American gut, instead of expanding very gradually, had ballooned: 33.3 percent of adults now qualified as overweight. In 1994, published findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that in just ten years, Americans had collectively gained more than a billion pounds. "If this was about tuberculosis, it would be called an epidemic," another researcher wrote in an editorial accompanying the report.