Thursday, June 03, 2010

Ontario's new push for mandatory menuboard calories

As I've said before, it's not a matter of, "if" we'll see mandatory menuboard calorie labeling here in Canada, but rather a matter of, "when" and it might be sooner than you think.

Yesterday NDP MPP France Gelinas introduced a new bill, the Healthy Decisions for Healthy Eating Act, 2010, which would require chain restaurants with more than 5 locations and a gross annual revenues of $5 million or more to post calorie counts directly on menus and menuboards.

For background on why this is an important move for Ontarians, feel free to have a peek at a letter I co-signed that was sent by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest yesterday to Ontario's Ministry of Health and Minister of Health Promotion.

The passage of such a bill wouldn't be to police what people are choosing, but rather to ensure people are in fact enabled with enough data to make informed decisions.

If we want people to begin to take greater responsibility for living healthier lifestyles, we have to enable them to do so, and mandatory calorie labeling is certainly one great big step in the right direction.

Three cheers for France Gelinas - we need more MPPs and MPs willing to tackle our toxic food environment, rather than take the easy and ill informed road of simply blaming individuals.