Emerging Best
Practices for Menu
Labelling in Ontario
Lyndsay Davidson, RD, BASc
Ontario Society of Nutrition Professional...
Can you spot the difference between
these two menus?
What is Menu
Labelling?
• Menu labelling applies
principles of food labelling
to the eating out
environment.
• Menu labell...
Why Menu Labelling?
• High frequency of eating out
• Excess levels of calories and sodium in
restaurant foods
• Highly var...
What’s the Nutritional Profile of an Average
Meal at a Canadian Sit-Down Restaurant?
Average Sit-down Restaurant
Meal
Note:
• More than half of the calories
needed per day
• One and a half times (151%) the
a...
Calls for Regulatory Action on Menu Labelling
• Institute of Medicine
• Canada’s Sodium Reduction
Strategy
• Ontario Medic...
OSNPPH Menu Labelling Workgroup
Key Points:
• menu labelling should be

required through legislation
• calorie and sodium ...
Provincial Progress on Menu Labelling

“Parents have told us
they want our
support in keeping
their kids healthy. We
are c...
MOHLTC Menu Labelling Consultation
The government was seeking advice on the best way
to put menu labelling in place, inclu...
Key Elements of a Menu Labelling
Program for Restaurants in Ontario
• Focus on foodservice chains that have the
capacity t...
What else is OSNPPH Advocating for?
• Inclusion of calories and sodium on
the menu/menu board
• Sodium values, not sodium ...
Questions?
info@osnpph.on.ca
Emerging Best Practices for Menu Labelling in Ontario
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Emerging Best Practices for Menu Labelling in Ontario

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Speaker: Lyndsay Davidson
Session: Beyond Food Charters: Approaches to Developing Meaningful Food Policy

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business
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Emerging Best Practices for Menu Labelling in Ontario

  1. 1. Emerging Best Practices for Menu Labelling in Ontario Lyndsay Davidson, RD, BASc Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH)
  2. 2. Can you spot the difference between these two menus?
  3. 3. What is Menu Labelling? • Menu labelling applies principles of food labelling to the eating out environment. • Menu labelling makes clear and standardized information about the nutrient content of food available at the point of purchase in restaurants and other foodservices establishments.
  4. 4. Why Menu Labelling? • High frequency of eating out • Excess levels of calories and sodium in restaurant foods • Highly variable levels of calories and sodium within the same food category • Consumers can’t estimate nutrient content • Consumers have a right to know • May lead to healthier choices and contribute to reduced obesity and chronic disease rates • May lead to nutritionally beneficial food reformulations • Consumers want nutrition information
  5. 5. What’s the Nutritional Profile of an Average Meal at a Canadian Sit-Down Restaurant?
  6. 6. Average Sit-down Restaurant Meal Note: • More than half of the calories needed per day • One and a half times (151%) the amount of sodium needed per day • Includes an appetizer and main, but not dessert (dessert would add an additional 549 calories) • Meals identified by the restaurants as being “healthy” were low in calories but still had half the amount of sodium needed per day Scourboutakos, MJ, Semnani-Azad, Z & L’Abbe, MR. JAMA Internal Medicine, May 2013.
  7. 7. Calls for Regulatory Action on Menu Labelling • Institute of Medicine • Canada’s Sodium Reduction Strategy • Ontario Medical Association • Cancer Care Ontario and Public Health Ontario • Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel • OSNPPH • Centre for Science in the Public Interest • Toronto Public Health
  8. 8. OSNPPH Menu Labelling Workgroup Key Points: • menu labelling should be required through legislation • calorie and sodium values should be prominently posted on the menu or menu board • full nutrition information should be available at the point of purchase for all standard menu items • reference values for calories and sodium should be on the menu or menu board
  9. 9. Provincial Progress on Menu Labelling “Parents have told us they want our support in keeping their kids healthy. We are committed to giving parents and their kids the information they need to make healthy choices. “ – Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews
  10. 10. MOHLTC Menu Labelling Consultation The government was seeking advice on the best way to put menu labelling in place, including: • Who the legislation would apply to • What nutrition information would be included • How nutrition information would be posted and made available • How to best implement legislation/regulations, including time required for implementation • How best to monitor and enforce legislation/regulations
  11. 11. Key Elements of a Menu Labelling Program for Restaurants in Ontario • Focus on foodservice chains that have the capacity to do menu labeling •Apply a consistent approach across different types of foodservice chains (e.g., quick-service, full-service, buffet, drive-thru, cafeteria, grocery store outlets, etc.) • Ensure consistency across Ontario through a provincial quality assurance function • Ensure key nutrient information is prominently displayed and additional nutrition information is readily available at the point of purchase •Be appropriately resourced to ensure it is properly implemented, monitored and evaluated for effectiveness and impact •Be supported through public education
  12. 12. What else is OSNPPH Advocating for? • Inclusion of calories and sodium on the menu/menu board • Sodium values, not sodium warnings • Prohibiting the inclusion of other nutrients on the menu/menu board • Full nutrition information available at the point of purchase for those with special dietary needs • Reference values or contextual statements on the menu/menu board • A phased-in approach to ensure timely introduction and implementation of menu labelling legislation
  13. 13. Questions? info@osnpph.on.ca

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