Drinks calories printed on US menus

By November 2015 all US restaurants with more than 20 venues will be required to state the calorie content of drinks on their menus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled.

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By November 2015 all US restaurants with more than 20 venues must print alcohol calorie information on menus.

However wine lists and drinks served at the bar, or any drinks not listed on the menu, will be exempt from the new regulations.

Mixed drinks will not have to be labelled at bars and restaurants are allowed to estimate the number of calories in different drinks rather than listing the exact amount in every beverage.

It means that producers will not have to pay to have their products’ nutritional content to be analysed, for the time being.

The changes follow years of lobbying by campaigners including Margo Wootan of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest.

She said: “Alcoholic beverages are a key contributor to the calories Americans are consuming, and most of the time when people have a drink they have absolutely no idea what its caloric impact is.”

The FDA’s original proposals for labelling rules in 2011 exempted alcohol, but FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said it had decided to include in the finalised rules this year due to its “potential impact on public health”.

Earlier this year health professionals in the UK called for calorie labelling on alcohol – a proposal criticised by some in the industry as having missed the point.

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