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Health Groups Petition for Stricter Calorie Labeling Laws

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Health Groups Petition for Stricter Calorie Labeling Laws

As restaurants push the Food and Drug Administration to relax calorie labeling regulations, health groups are urging the opposite. More than 80 health group members filed a government petition this week, pushing officials to tighten regulations, which are slated to appear on menus in restaurant chains nationwide.

Groups supporting the petition include the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Public Health Association and the National PTA. Accordingly, the groups claim the proposed regulations are misaligned with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The groups specifically object to the exemption of calorie labeling for menus in movie theaters, casinos, bowling alleys, stadiums, hotels, airlines, cafes, delis and similar locations. They're also pushing for labeling on alcoholic beverages sold by restaurants.

"It's disappointing that the administration would weaken the labeling proposals from what Congress required," said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Product Design noted. "You'd think, given the administration's strong commitment to addressing childhood obesity, that it would try to provide nutrition information for as many foods in as many venues as Congress required."