All Restaurants Should Be Required to Provide Nutritional Information!

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Sponsor: The Diabetes Site

Going out to eat shouldn't be a matter of life and death for those managing diabetes!


For people with diabetes, eating out is risky. Restaurants are not required to put any nutritional information on their menus, and they usually don't. It's often embarrassing and troublesome to have restaurant staff try to track down accurate information about a bowl of soup or a plate of spaghetti. Without a law in place, staff members could even dismiss the request, claiming the information is not available.

Too often, these frustrating scenarios leave people with diabetes to guess how many carbohydrates are in their meals. Guessing incorrectly could result in imbalanced blood glucose levels, which could lead to a hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episode. In some cases, these severe issues can even lead to diabetic comas and death.

Right now, the FDA requires "chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments" to post calorie information on their menus and menu boards and have other nutritional information available in writing for those who request it. This information includes "total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, and protein."

Arguably, nutritional information could stand to be made even more accessible in chain restaurants, but in other eateries, it's often nowhere to be found at all. Restaurants that don't fall into the "chain restaurants" category are free to leave nutritional information off their menus and make it altogether unavailable to guests. That is unacceptable.

People deserve to have this information readily accessible so they can make well-informed decisions without being mocked or ridiculed for being "high-maintenance" or "picky." All restaurants should be required to post nutritional information for all food and drink items served at their establishment, including calories, fats, proteins, and—most importantly—carbs. This small change could help prevent accidental complications for those with diabetes and other health concerns.

Sign below to tell the FDA's Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements that every restaurant should be held to these standards.

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The Petition:

Dear Food and Drug Administration, Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements,

Every day, people with diabetes and other diet-related health concerns are risking their health each time they are denied easy access to nutritional information for the food they order at restaurants.

The people deserve to have access to this information. No one should have to guess what's in their food in the hopes that they'll be able to give themselves the correct amount of medication to avoid health complications. No one should have to live in fear that the food they eat could hurt or even kill them.

It is time to protect people from this needless risk. I demand federal legislation to ensure that all eateries, whether they be fast food establishments, cafes, buffets, fine dining restaurants, or whatever else, are held to the same standards. For the good of the people, they should all be required to disclose the relevant nutritional facts for every food and drink item they sell.

Sincerely,

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