To the Editor: Restaurants should be proactive about menu labeling, nutrient analysis

Consumers are looking for more detailed information about the food they eat, and the time is right for restaurants of all sizes to start providing nutrition information. As obesity rates rise and more consumers are seeking a healthier lifestyle, food service establishments that provide nutrition information will not only comply with pending national legislation, but will appeal to health-conscious consumers.

According to the National Restaurant Association, a uniform national nutrition standard will allow consumers access to detailed nutrition information that meets their needs while providing clarity, consistency and flexibility for restaurants in how that information is provided. They are urging members of Congress to co-sponsor the Labeling Education and Nutrition Act (LEAN Act), which will provide a national nutrition labeling standard for food service establishments with 20 or more locations.

By highlighting healthier options, restaurants can distinguish themselves by meeting the growing demand for nutrition information, establish a competitive edge over their competitors and, most importantly, provide an important service to their customers.

       Laura Walsh, RD, LDN

                 President and Founder

                 Walsh Nutrition Group

                          Elmhurst, Ill.

From the Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2010 issue

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