Menu labelling will ease health-care costs: OPHA
Ontario’s new Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015
will lead to healthier people and ease the pressure on our health-care system, Ontario Public Health Association president Ellen Wodchis says.
"As more Ontarians enjoy dining outside the home, menu labelling will empower individuals and parents to make informed choices to better their health and that of their families,” Wodchis says. "This will help reduce pressure on our health-care system by reducing visits to hospitals and doctors."
Under the new legislation, which came into force January 1, 2017, Ontario food service providers—such as restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, grocery stores and movie theatres with 20 or more locations—must include the number of calories for food and beverage items on their menus, tags and labels.
Ontario is the first Canadian province to introduce caloric menu labeling for food and drink items, and the OPHA commends the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for taking the first step in this direction.
As the provincial voice for public health professionals across public and health promotion disciplines in Ontario and the host of the Nutrition Resource Centre
, the OPHA, together with Dietitians of Canada and the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health), provided recommendations to support the development of the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015
from the three organizations was sent to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recommending a contextual statement with one single reference value (2,000 calories/ day) that will also be posted on menus alongside calorie counts.
“Our Association is pleased to see the Ontario government taking these bold steps in collaboration with the business community to implement menu labelling and create an environment that values health for all," says Wodchis.
Mary Wales, Communications Coordinator
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