March 26, 2010

Connecticut Rep. leads the nation to better health

{{w|Rosa DeLauro}}, member of the United State...Image via Wikipedia

I don't know if U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro reads my blog, but the Connecticut Representative led the historic fight for obesity in the new Health Care Bill. Now all across America, you will know what the calories are in a Whopper, Big Mac or a simple Mocha, just by looking at the menu.

Of course you can lead a horse to water....

But I'm willing to bet many Americans will make the right choice for themselves when they look at the menu boards and understand clearly what their choices are. It's the start of RightsizingAmerica.

Provision In Health Care Bill Requires Many Restaurants To Post Calorie Count - "The provision, championed by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, received little fanfare and was overshadowed by other aspects of the health care overhaul. But public health advocates hailed it as historic and predicted it would become a powerful weapon in the national fight against obesity.

"When people have information about calories, they do make better choices," said Marlene B. Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.

A study conducted by the center found that people ate considerably less when calorie information was listed on a restaurant's menu. And given that almost 50 percent of all meals are prepared outside the home, "people simply have the right to know this information," Schwartz said.

Everyone knows a Big Mac packs a punch, but the caloric calculus isn't always easy or obvious: Sometimes a salad can contain far more calories than a pizza slice. Under the provisions of the bill, diners will be confronted with the calorie counts of their meals right on the menu, or at the drive-through window; not in tiny writing on the wrapper or on a website they can't access until later.

DeLauro has pushed for the bill at the federal level for several years, but in the past it had been stalled by opposition from the restaurant industry. However, the industry signed on to the measure this year, saying a blanket federal policy is better than a state-by-state approach.

"Different laws in each state would make it difficult to comply," said Nicole Griffin, executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. "Now we'll have national uniformity, something we've been advocating from the beginning."
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