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December 19, 1990

Institute of Medicine to Restaurants: Serve Up Nutrition Information

JAMA. 1990;264(23):2975. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450230007001

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


BECAUSE more than 40% of the US individual food budget is spent eating out, restaurants should be required to provide nutrition information for the foods they serve, says a National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine panel.

In addition to recommending new federal regulations mandating consistent, useful, and nondeceptive nutrition labeling for all foods sold in stores, the panel's recently published report, Nutrition Labeling: Issues and Directions for the 1990s, calls for regulations that require fast-food restaurants to post nutrition information where customers can read it or to provide it on food containers. Other restaurants should have nutrition information for menu items available for patrons on request, the report says.

What to Say  Such information should be informative, easy to read, nondeceptive, and consistent within product categories and uniform nationwide. The information should highlight the fat, cholesterol, sodium, and fiber content of menu items to aid consumers in selecting foods

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